Edmonton police officer charged after violent arrest of Indigenous man

Screenshot: Man from Bigstone Cree Nation violently arrested by Edmonton police.

Edmonton police say one of its officers has been charged with assaulting an Indigenous man during an arrest last year.

According to a media release, Const. Michael Partington, a 4-year member with the Edmonton Police Service was charged with one count of assault on Tuesday. The charge stems from an arrest of a man that took place in the area of 115 Avenue and 95 Street on August 27, 2019.

Police say they received video of the arrest two days later and an investigation was initiated by its Professional Standards Branch (PSB).

The PSB concluded that the level of force described in the police report was not consistent with the force observed in the video.

On March 31, 2020, the PSB referred the case to the Alberta Crown Prosecution Services in Calgary to determine if a criminal charge was warranted.

Earlier this month, video of the arrest began circulating online.

In the video, an Indigenous man is seen lying face-down in the grass, and being held by one officer. A second officer approaches from the side and jumps onto the man, hitting him in the back with his knee. The man on the ground cries out in pain. The second officer then leans on the man’s neck with his knee, while the first officer bends over and yells, “Do not run from the police!” He can be heard calling the man a “mother—–” and saying “did you think I wouldn’t catch you?”

On June 12, prosecutors recommended that Partington be criminally charged.

Partington was released from custody with an appearance notice and has since been relieved from duty without pay.

Police say, no further information will be released as the matter is currently before the courts.