Alleged violent misconduct by RNC officer to be investigated, police chief says

Josh
Josh Pennell
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A criminal investigation into an incident involving RNC officers last year outside a pool hall in St. John’s is going to be done by RCMP investigators, RNC Chief Bill Janes confirmed today.

RNC Chief of Police Bill Janes speaks to the media at RNC headquarters in St. John’s this afternoon. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

The investigation centres around an incident that took place in the parking lot of Dooly’s on Topsail Road on Dec. 15.

On that night, Bradley Bartlett was leaving a Christmas party. He was standing outside waiting for a cab with a drink in his hand when he was approached by RNC officers who had received a call of somebody drinking in public.

An altercation ensued and Bartlett suffered injuries to his face serious enough that, while no bones were broken, he was taken to the hospital by officers.

Bartlett was charged with three counts of assaulting a police officer and another count of obstructing an officer. Those charges were all dropped by the Crown earlier this week because it was determined that there were no grounds for the initial arrest that lead to the altercation and because the Crown felt there was no liklihood of conviction.

Bartlett’s lawyer, Bob Simmonds, then said his client and several eyewitnesses at the scene that night had told him it was a RNC officer that assaulted Bartlett. Four officers were on the scene but one allegedly punched Bartlett in the face three times.

Simmonds said Bartlett would be making a formal complaint to the RNC Public Complaints Commission.

Janes confirmed today the commission had received that complaint and had decided it warranted an investigation. Janes said he was in the process of writing up a request to have the RCMP conduct the investigation into the actions of the RNC officers that night. He also said he had verbal agreement from the RCMP to take on the investigation.

The officers at the scene that night, including the one that is accused of punching Bartlett, will be performing their regular duties for now, Janes said, pointing out that it’s just an allegation at this point. He said that could change depending on how the investigation develops.

 

josh.pennell@thetelegram.com

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Topsail Road

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Recent comments

  • Rob P
    March 26, 2014 - 01:55

    He waited until his case was delt with in court.... Idiots.... That's why it wasn't brought up in December. The RNC PCC will suspend the investigation of any complaints if there is a prosecution pending relating to the subject matter of the complaint. If.you don't know what your talking about, and don't talk about it!

  • Logic
    March 07, 2014 - 20:51

    3 months and his lawyer now goes on a rampage for justice. How drunk was Mr. Bartlett? How come his friends/ witnesses didn't come forward then? Every person out there has a closet they do not want opened. What is in Mr. Bartlett's Be careful of your legal advice!!!!

  • Chris
    March 07, 2014 - 18:54

    I read this story on vocm and they deleted the comment section. If you are going to have the option to leave comments who decides to sensor the articles. If a reported wasn't allowed to print a story that would be sensorship now vocm is se siring it's viewers comments. Thank you for not showing the same lack of journalism

  • Glenn Stockley
    March 07, 2014 - 17:55

    This should be good. The last time that i know of R.N.C investigating claims of violence they cleared the officer of wrongdoing. When the assaulted accused went to trial the complainant officer was charged when Supreme Court Justice Seamus O"Reagan overruled R.N.C .investigation after hearing defence lawyer cross examine exonerated cop and laid charges against him. Supreme Court Judges can overrule R.N.C thank God.

  • Louis
    March 07, 2014 - 17:04

    As usual, whomever gets to the media first gets the spotlight! There are always outlandish complaints, and well found ones too! The people who were there that night are the only ones that truly know what happened. My disappointment is you have a new chief, who rather than stay true to the process and allowed the commission to do their job first, has now jumped right into involving the RCMP. Where is the support for his rank and file, rather than caving to the media outlets? Good luck to the officers involved; if they did nothing wrong, then this is only a great public platform to show it!

  • d
    March 07, 2014 - 16:23

    Id like to know why is this only coming to light now when it happened it December??

  • Frank
    March 07, 2014 - 15:50

    Some years ago in Corner Brook I observed a RNC officer running after a person on West Street. I watched from my car as the person gave up and placed his hands high in the air. The officer approached and forced the fella onto the ground face down then he promptly turned him over and punched him in the face then again turned him face down and cuffed him. My observation revealed a fella giving up and no resisting involved. Why was it necessary to punch the guy in the face when he clearly was not resisting? Strange law enforcement behavior.

  • Confused
    March 07, 2014 - 15:10

    There are two sides to every story but it seems like everytime a statement is made and reported to the media the story is changing. I guess we will just have to wait and see what the truth is when the investigation is completed.

  • Derek
    March 07, 2014 - 13:51

    Before they hang the police officer concerned lets allow this investigation to run it's course. As someone who witnesses the nightly goings on around this city as part of his job I can guarantee you that some of what the RNC and others deal with are nowhere close to saints or guilt free themselves. There are two sides to every story. Let's hear both of them.