Edmonton

Edmonton constable cleared after fracturing jaywalker's arm during Oilers playoff run

A police officer who fractured the arm of a man stopped for jaywalking during Oilers playoff celebrations in 2017 will not be charged.

Police watchdog says officer used reasonable force after man 'braced' body during arrest

A police officer has been cleared after a confrontation on Whyte Avenue in 2017 that resulted in a jaywalker's arm being fractured. (City of Edmonton)

A police officer who fractured the arm of a man stopped for jaywalking during Oilers playoff celebrations in 2017 will not be charged.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) found the officer's use of force "was made necessary by the resistance during the arrest."

The struggle happened after the 27-year-old man — who appeared to be intoxicated — crumpled up a jaywalking ticket and threw it on the ground on April 12, 2017.

The officer told the man to pick it up, but according to the ASIRT report released Tuesday, the man used "inappropriate language" and refused to do so.

That's when officers told the man he would be arrested for public intoxication.

"As the officers attempted to take the man into custody, the man braced his body, refusing to allow the officers to apply the handcuffs.

"His bracing of his body countered the officers' attempts to bring his arms behind his back and a physical struggle ensued for several minutes," the report states.

"One of the officers used an arm bar technique to attempt to bring the man's arm behind his back to facilitate his placement in handcuffs, following which a 'click' or 'pop' sound was heard."

The report states it was "extremely unfortunate" that the man suffered a serious injury, but said his "non-compliance" necessitated a use of force."

Civil suit

The incident happened in April 2017 but ASIRT did not know about it until the man filed a civil suit against police two months later.

By that time, no security video footage was available from the area and ASIRT was not able to find any passersby who may have recorded the confrontation.

The report states that two police officers had been assigned to do crowd control in the Whyte Avenue area that night, when they saw two men jaywalking. The officers stopped the men, checked their identification and said both men appeared to be drunk.

While one of the men cooperated with police, and eventually left the scene, the 27-year-old man, "became increasingly confrontational and condescending ... acknowledging jaywalking but demonstrating neither remorse nor concern that he had breached the law, and mocking the officers for their enforcement of the law," the report states.

The man denied resisting arrest, but the report states that he acknowledged "bracing," which "would be perceived as resistance."

"Considering all of the evidence available to the officers at the time, there were reasonable grounds to place the man under arrest, and in doing so, to use as much force as was reasonably necessary.

"The use of an arm bar technique was permissible and, while not a common consequence, it can result in an injury including a fracture."