Assault trial of Kelowna, BC RCMP officer continues – Okanagan


const. Kelowna RCMP Siggy Pietrzak, charged with one count of assaulting Tyler Russell, appeared in court again on Monday.

In May 2020, two RCMP officers were trying to arrest Russell on suspicion of impaired driving. The court heard the couple struggled for almost two minutes, before a third officer, Pietrzak, intervened and punched Russell in the face several times.

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Two cellphone videos shot by witnesses at the time of the incident were shown in court on Monday. Senior RCMP Officer, Staff Sgt. Leonard McCoshen, was again called by the Crown as an expert witness.

Asked by the defense if throwing so many punches in the face was consistent with RCMP training, he replied, « I would be fine with one or maybe two punches for the purpose of distraction. would have been appropriate. These are the other strikes I disagree with”

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In June, McCoshen said he counted nine punches in the video shown in court. Today the defense asked: “If there was a guess that Pietrzak was assessing the situation and you knew what he was thinking, would you change your mind? To which McCoshen replied, “He did what he did. His actions speak rather than his thoughts. I am not able to understand what he was thinking.

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‘I remember being punched in the face:’ Complainant at trial of Kelowna RCMP officer

The court also heard that officers ordered Russell to the ground immediately, but he did not comply. One of the officers saw a black object in Russell’s hand and thought it was a weapon. McCoshen testified that this would have bolstered Pietrzak’s risk assessment, although he was unsure what the black object in the video was or even who was holding it.

After footage of the arrest became public, Petrzak was placed on administrative duty and then suspended with pay.

He was charged with assault about a year later.

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