Edmonton constable suspended for using stun gun on teen
Const. Mike Wasylyshen used Taser on 16-year-old Randy Fryingpan 8 times
An Edmonton police officer who used a stun gun on a passed-out teen eight times in just over a minute during an incident a decade ago has been suspended for 120 hours without pay.
Const. Mike Wasylyshen was convicted last month of using excessive force and insubordination for repeatedly using a Taser on Randy Fryingpan, then 16, as he lay passed out in the back seat of a friend's car.
Fryingpan, now 25, testified he remembers little about Oct. 5, 2002, except waking up handcuffed and spitting up blood.
Paul Manuel, the retired Calgary police inspector who was the presiding officer at the disciplinary hearing, called Wasylyshen's actions "an embarrassment to policing" and said the constable "abused the powers of his office."
He also doubts whether Wasylyshen is remorseful for what happened that night. But Manuel said in his decision that he believes Wasylyshen has matured over the past decade and has made efforts to rehabilitate himself.
Some believe the 120-hour suspension doesn't go far enough.
"That should have been doubled," said Muriel Stanley Venne, the chair of the Aboriginal Commission on Human Rights and Justice."It had to look like it was a deterrant. It doesn't look like it was anything. It was just a slap on the wrist."
The suspension on Monday comes two years after the start of Wasylyshen's disciplinary hearing and 10 years after the incident itself.
In 2005, a provincial court judge ruled Wasylyshen had violated Fryingpan's rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Judge Jack Easton called the officer's actions "cruel and unusual" treatment, but then acting police chief Darryl da Costa dismissed the allegations.
In 2009, after a lengthy appeal by Fryingpan's mother, the Law Enforcement Review Board ordered Chief Mike Boyd to lay new charges against Wasylyshen.
The disciplinary hearing was then delayed last year when Wasylyshen's lawyer tried to have the charges dismissed.
Last week, the presenting officer recommended Wasylyshen be suspended without pay for up to 115 hours, an estimated loss of $5,300 in pay.
Wasylyshen's lawyer called the suspension "heavy" and asked instead for a minimal suspension.
Wasylyshen is the son of former Edmonton police chief Bob Wasylyshen. Rod Knecht, the current chief of police, will not discuss the suspension until he has a chance to read and reflect on the 20-page ruling.