2 stories emerge from allegation of police brutality
Two vastly different stories are being told about an encounter involving a Saskatoon police officer and a man from Asquith, Sask., during a traffic stop last Friday.
Kerry Sawicki, 29, claims officers assaulted him after his vehicle was pulled over. The chief of police, on the other hand, claims Sawicki tried to hit his officer with a truck.
Sawicki told CBC News Wednesday that he believed he was being pulled over because he was not wearing his seat belt properly, but the situation changed when the officer became very aggressive and called for additional officers to come to the scene.
"And all of a sudden I'm being tackled and my arms are being wrenched behind my back, they throw cuffs on me and the cuffs are extremely tight," Sawicki said. He claims the handcuffs have disrupted his circulation.
"My hands keep going numb," Sawicki said six days following the encounter. "My hands keep tingling [and] my one hand is swollen up from this entire event."
Saskatoon police chief Clive Weighill said police had to use an aggressive technique, known as a high-risk take down, because of the man's alleged behaviour with his truck.
"The driver was approached, it turned into a high-risk take down due to the circumstances of the officer almost being hit," Weighill said. "The officer felt he was not complying with his commands so he was arrested at the scene, brought in and charged with assaulting a police officer."
Sawicki, however, said he was following directions of the officer and did not point his vehicle in a dangerous manner.
"I don't think he should have felt threatened at all," he said, noting he drives for a living. "I was complying with him. I was pulling my vehicle to the side of the road."
He says he has filed a formal complaint with the province's Public Complaints Commission, which handles allegations of police misdeeds relating to municipal police departments.
With files from CBC's Dan Zakreski