Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Transit cop suspended for assaulting and tasering elderly man

CTV is reporting that Constable Ken Jansen has been demoted and suspended for 14 days by an adjudicator for his part in beating an elderly mentally ill man and jolting him with a Taser four years ago. Criminal charges against Jansen and Surrey RCMP Const. Mitchell Spears who was also involved, were dropped last year when a provincial court judge ruled their charter rights had been infringed by the lengthy delay in bringing the matter to trial.

The Surrey now reported that both officers were originally charged with assault and Spears was also charged with assault with a weapon, namely, a Taser. Before the case was dropped the Surrey Now reported that the court heard that the Surrey RCMP was called to investigate a complaint that Booker had chased his landlord with a knife. Dickie said she expects the court will hear that Spears went into the residence and threatened to use a Taser on Booker.

The elderly man was handcuffed, arrested under the Mental Health Act and was taken to Surrey Memorial Hospital. The prosecutor said she expects the judge will hear that hospital staff found Booker "calm and pleasant," albeit saying strange things.

She also expects the judge will hear that Spears and Jansen were seen on top of Booker, who suffered a head injury that required stitches, and that Jansen was seen "knee-striking" Booker several times. Dickie said an emergency room video will reveal Booker "did nothing" to Spears. Spears is accused of pinning Booker down in a chair and "grasping" his neck. Dickie told the court that the alleged assault was "not provocated" and "the force applied was excessive and dangerous." Spears is the fat guy on the left while Jenson is the skinny guy on the right. Together they look like Laurel and Hardy. Jensen doesn't look very repentant.

It's a hard call to know eaxcty what really happened. The Vancouver Province previously reported that Jansen wasn't on duty that night, but was waiting for RCMP Const. Mitch Spears, who had arrested Robert Booker under the Mental Health Act and was about to hand him over to hospital staff. Jensen was caught lying about what happened and made statements that didn't make sense. The elderly man was in his early seventies.

The court was told that the Surrey RCMP was called to investigate a complaint that the old man had chased his landlord with a knife. Any time a knife is involved that is a concern. Without being there it's hard to determine if it was a steak knife or a big kitchen knife. It's also difficult to ascertain the seriousness of the threat by a 70 year old man with mental health issues. If someone has a knife and a cop says put the knife down or I'll taser you that doesn't sound to unrealistic to me. Actually tasering a 70 year old man is very unwise since at his age that could be considered a lethal attack not reasonable force. So is giving him the boots after he's on the ground.


  1. "Criminal charges against Jansen and Surrey RCMP Const. Mitchell Spears who was also involved, were dropped last year when a provincial court judge ruled their charter rights had been infringed by the lengthy delay in bringing the matter to trial."

    See, this is how the fix is in. Make sure it drags on long enough that any previous case where a judge has made such a ruling, that timeline can be applied to rule the same here. Not that it would make much difference really, even if convicted they'd get a sentence that would wipe it off the books and allow them to keep their jobs, just like when the newspaper delivery guy was robbed by 3 drunken cops, one of whom was a "use of force" trainer.

    "Fuck you, we're the police, we can do whatever we want". As I have said before, the culture of policing in Canada has to change before you will ever see any difference. This will require firing bad cops and sending bad cops to jail. The others will adhere to standard or join them, so they will comply or else, but don't expect them not to get drunk at the bar and not bemoan about how it was "in the good old days" when a guy could legally put the boots to a citizen and get away with it.

    There is NO EXCUSE for putting boots to a subject on the ground. NONE. VPD killed at least one unarmed citizen that way. You see this in a disgustingly high number of use of force incidents where a non-complaint subject is knocked to the ground and kicked in the head repeatedly. Disgusting.

    I can tell you why this stuff happens, and it goes right back to the selection process. They don't really want veterans of military service, VPD has publicly said that their ideal recruit is a college grad with a degree in sociology and a background in team sports. They don't really want anyone with previously implanted idea's about honour and duty, they want a clean slate to imprint their own (warped) idea's about that, part of which is "don't question authority" and "you're nothing without the team".

    Because of what happened in WW2, soldiers are taught about the concept of "an unlawful order", and the absolute duty not only to to disobey it but to report it. That's the last guy the police want.

    In addition, they are recruiting what dog trainers call "fear biter's". In human parlance these are people who are not truly comfortable with personal risk ("do whatever it takes to come home at the end of your shift") and rather than mentally seeing themselves in control of a use of force situation any ability to use a continuum of force goes out the window when they are threatened and they escalate unnecessarily. They panic. Like I said, fear biter's. You want a job without risk, don't become a cop. They're hiring people who want a well paid secure career rather than people who are innately suited for it. People like this are born, not made, and dressing them up in a uniform and giving them a badge can't change that.

  2. As well, what is an obese POS like that doing as a cop anyway? If he had to run even a quarter mile he'd either drop dead of a heart attack or be so tanked he'd be unable to concentrate on anything but overcoming his oxygen deficit. Can you imagine him trying to keep his sights aligned and get an accurate shot off? What a joke.

  3. Trailrunner you hit the nail on the head. Just like the cop who wanted to smoke pot on the job. If you can't handle the stress or are afraid of scraping your elbow in a scuffle then go find something else to do like be a school teacher or Walmart greeter.


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