Officer not guilty of assault in Taser wake-up
An Edmonton police officer was found not guilty of assault on Monday for using a Taser towake two sleeping men during a robbery investigation.
Provincial court Judge Robert Philpfound Const. Jeff Resler, a 14-year veteran of the Edmonton force, not guilty ontwo counts of assault and two counts of assault with a weapon.
Jeff Wuite, a spokesman for the Edmonton police, said the officer will now face an internal review.
"Our job is just beginning now,"he said."Once[the review] iscomplete, the chief will make a determination whether or not there needs to be a public inquiry or hearing, or if there will be any further charges under the police act that might be laid."
In November 2003, Resler and three other officers were investigating an armed robbery at Edmonton's Cromdale Hotel.
According to Resler's own police report, when officers burst into a room at the hotel, they foundtwo males passed out on the bed, and a third passed out on the floor.
"I used the Taser along with verbal direction and I was now able to successfully wake up these males in a safe manner," Resler wrote.
ATaser isa weapondesigned to cause temporary paralysis using an electrical shock.
Crown prosecutor Trudy Caisse argued during the trial that the officer used his Taser to zap the men as if it could be used as an alarm clock, a move she called excessive force.
But Resler's lawyer, Alex Pringle, said the court had heard so many different versions from witnesses of what happened that night, it created reasonable doubt andhis client should be found not guilty.
Since 2003, Resler has been on the job without a weapon and he can no longer respond to emergency calls. Wuite said Monday that Resler will remain on desk duty until the internal inquiry is concluded.