A 69-year-old civilian jail guard from the OPP detachment in Geraldton testified at the assault trial for Cst. Brian Bellefeuille on Thursday.
Bellefeuille is charged with assaulting Gary Megan, from Aroland First Nation, during an altercation in a Geraldton jail cell on February 11, 2012.
Guard Warren Kerr told the court that Megan was "belligerent, obstructive and non-cooperative" when Bellefeuille and another officer took Megan out of the police cruiser and led him to the cell.
"He kept trying to shrug them off," Kerr said. "He was refusing to comply."
Court sees jail cell video
Megan had been arrested outside Geraldton’s only bar at closing time for public intoxication.
Kerr, like several other witnesses in the case, was asked to watch a video recording taken from the jail cell that night.
It showed Megan, hands cuffed behind his back, being thrown to the floor by Bellefeuille.
'There was blood on his face, and the floor and the blanket and basically you gave [Megan] some toilet paper to clean up?" ' —Crown Attorney Andrew Capell
The video elicited a gasp from the courtroom packed with about 50 people, including Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy and Anishinabek Nation Grand Chief Patrick Madahbee.
"He was taken down so [Bellefeuille] could control the situation," Kerr said. "It’s a standard procedure, they take them down. I don’t see the variance."
Judge calls for quiet in packed courtroom
In cross examination Kerr said he heard Megan’s head hit the floor with a crack. Crown attorney Andrew Cappell asked Kerr whether Megan hit his head hard.
"Well, what is hard?" Kerr responded, spurring sounds of admonishment from the crowd in the courtroom.
The judge later had to call for quiet, after laughter erupted when Kerr said he thought Bellefeuille was trying to guide Megan "gently" to the floor.
Cappell asked Kerr to show the court the point on the video where he believed Bellefeuille was trying to prevent Megan from hitting his head.
"If he was trying to break his fall, he was doing a pretty bad job of it," Kerr conceded.
Blood on prisoner's face
The jail guard was also asked about what happened after officers took Megan to the hospital to have the cut on his eye treated and returned him to the cell.
Kerr said he observed Megan with a lot of blood on his face as well as blood on the cell floor and a blanket Megan was using.
"He’s not bleeding to death, but there’s cause for concern," Kerr said, adding Cst. Bellefeuille told Kerr that Megan was having a nosebleed and instructed him how to deal with it.
"There was blood on his face, and the floor and the blanket and basically you gave [Megan] some toilet paper to clean up?" Cappell asked.
"And water," Kerr said.
The other OPP officer in the cell that night testified earlier this week that he was concerned for Bellefeuille’s safety as he dealt with Megan, but Kerr said he was never concerned about anyone’s safety that night.
Court was expecting to hear from Cst. Bellefeuille as part of the defence case today.
But that testimony has been delayed until court resumes on Friday.
You can follow live coverage of the case by @cbcreporter here: