Hamilton police officer who punched handcuffed man gets disciplined

A Hamilton police officer who was found guilty in April of assaulting a man in custody will forfeit 120 hours as penalty for a related disciplinary charge.

'He’s going to respect the decision and be accountable for what took place': Union rep

Officer Kudo Park left the Hamilton courthouse with his defence attorney, Gary Clewley last July. (Kelly Bennett/CBC)

A Hamilton police officer who was found guilty in April of assaulting a man in custody will forfeit 120 hours as penalty for a related disciplinary charge.

The penalty was submitted jointly Monday by the Hamilton Police Service, prosecuting the disciplinary charge under the Police Services Act, and the officer's union representatives at the Hamilton Police Association.

Const. Kudo Park was found guilty in April of assault after punching a handcuffed man who had spat in his face in 2015.

Park received a suspended sentence in July, which doesn't carry jail time but does leave him with a criminal record.

On the disciplinary charge, he pleaded guilty in November. Monday's hearing was to set the penalty.

The 120 hours are the equivalent of a six-month demotion and work out to about $5,700. Park has the option to work the hours and not get paid, or apply hours from any banked leave.

Park's union representative, Belchior Arruda, said that's not the only financial hit the officer has sustained.

As Park was placed on administrative leave for about a year and a half, he was unable to take part in voluntary paid duty shifts, which Arruda said amounted to about $23,000 he wasn't able to earn.

And he had to pay more than $60,000 in legal fees while his case proceeded in criminal court.

Arruda said Monday that Park is still disappointed with the verdict, but is willing to take responsibility for the incident and move on.

"He doesn't totally agree, but he's going to respect the decision and be accountable for what took place," Arruda said.

Hamilton Police Service attorney Marco Visentini could not immediately be reached for comment.