Sentencing adjourned for Slave Lake RCMP officer charged with assault

WATCH: Warning: disturbing content. September 2017 video obtained by Global News shows an RCMP officer assaulting an Indigenous man at the Slave Lake RCMP detachment.

A judge in High Prairie decided Monday that sentencing will be adjourned for an Alberta RCMP officer charged with assault.

Const. Licio Soares was charged with one count of assault on June 6, 2019, following an investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team.

He was later found guilty.

The victim, an Indigenous man, is currently in custody on unrelated matters but would like to be present for the hearing.

Court heard Monday that Vernon Laboucan would need to be transferred to a different facility to take part but since he is showing symptoms of COVID-19, he would not be moved to protect staff.

It was suggested he would need to spend two weeks in quarantine before being able to participate.

Read more:
RCMP officer charged with assault after 2017 booking at Slave Lake detachment

The charge against Soares stemmed from a Sept. 19, 2017 incident at the Slave Lake RCMP detachment.

Const. Soares was booking Laboucan after Laboucan was arrested for mischief.

Video of the incident was submitted as evidence in the case. It was later obtained by Global News.

The silent video from a security camera at the detachment shows the officer leading Laboucan into a hallway just after 6 a.m.

The officer can be seen helping Laboucan sit down before walking away.

Five minutes later, Laboucan can be seen sitting still on the floor with his hands behind his back as the officer looks over papers.

At 6:13 a.m. the officer appears to be releasing Laboucan’s hands from handcuffs.

Read more:
Alberta RCMP dashcam video shows violent arrest of First Nation chief, moments leading up to it

Three minutes later, Laboucan is standing and taking off a sweatshirt.

In the video he can be seen throwing it at the officer.

The officer pushes the sweater back towards Laboucan’s head, throwing him to the ground.

He can then be seen tackling Laboucan, pushing him into a wall and kneeing him in the back five times.

Const. Soares then holds Laboucan’s head and arms as he lies pinned to the ground.

After an 18-month review, ASIRT found an offence had been committed by the officer.

RCMP confirmed Monday he is still an active member. He has been transferred from the Slave Lake RCMP detachment and is now posted in southern Alberta in a federal policing unit.

His sentencing was adjourned to July 15.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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