The Regina police officer who has been convicted, on appeal, of assaulting a homeless man, will keep his job.
The case of Const. Robert Kenneth Power — and what happened when he encountered a homeless man, Eddy Stonechild, in May of 2012 — has been through several levels of court. Power has also gone through police disciplinary measures.
The latest development came from the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, where the majority of a panel of three judges decided that Power was properly convicted of assault causing bodily harm during the arrest of Stonechild.
The courts considered video evidence showing the officer delivering what was described as a push-kick to Stonechild. That use of force caused Stonechild to fall back and he struck his head on some concrete.
The courts noted that Stonechild was treated in hospital and released. He was at the original trial but testified he had no recollection of what happened.
In that provincial court trial, Power was found guilty and subsequently dismissed by the police department. That dismissal was reviewed and it was determined that Power should keep his job but go through a probationary period and additional training.
Meanwhile the court case was reviewed by a Queen's Bench judge, who overturned the conviction, but then the Court of Appeal restored the conviction.
'Const. Power has come back and has been a contributing member of our service.' - Deputy Chief Dean Rae
The legal matter may yet continue as Power could seek leave to appeal the most recent decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
When asked about Power's job, police in Regina said Wednesday that the officer has successfully been reinstated.
"Const. Power has come back and has been a contributing member of our service since he came back," Deputy Chief Dean Rae said Wednesday.
Rae added the police department expects all officers to maintain high standards of behaviour on the job.
"There's an expectation of us that we maintain this professionalism," he said. "Every member of the service understands that and knows that. So that expectation is out there and I don't think that will change."
Power was reinstated as an officer in 2014. He had been suspended without pay for 13 months. As part of the reinstatement, he was on job-probation for 18 months and received ethics training.
Advocacy group urges dismissal
On Wednesday the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism issued a statement calling on police to fire the officer.
"We are calling on RPS Chief Troy Hagen to do what is right and terminate [the officer]," the group said in a statement released to media outlets.