Const. Ismail Bhabha pleads not guilty to assaulting cyclist
Video of plainclothes officer allegedly hitting Andishae Akhavan provoked outrage online
A Vancouver police officer accused of assaulting a cyclist during an arrest that was videotaped and posted on Facebook, pleaded not guilty in court today.
The incident happened in March 2013 in downtown Vancouver, while Const. Ismail Bhabha was handcuffing cyclist Andishae Akhavan Kharazi after pulling him over for riding without a helmet and running a red light.
At Bhabha's trial on Wednesday morning, Kharazi testified he did not recall running any lights on his bike and said he normally stops for lights.
He also testified he never resisted arrest or raised his voice, and only moved his arms involuntarily when the officer twisted his arms behind his back while attempting to handcuff him.
Police have said the video captured only part of the incident and that Kharazi was "allegedly confrontational with police," and "escalated the situation."
West Vancouver Police conducted an independent investigation and in September recommended Bhabha be charged with assault.
The trial is expected to last three days.