Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner has reacted to a video posted over the weekend to social media.
The 39 second video depicts a confrontation between a group of officers and a civilian who is allegedly trespassing at a plaza in the Third Line/ Dundas area of Oakville. One officer is shown to be shoving the trespassing individual while his colleagues looked on. The video is said to be from early April according to police.
Tanner released a statement on Sunday announcing the officer who made physical contact with the individual had been suspended. He outlined two parallel processes. A potential criminal investigation, which, would go through the course, and a disciplinary process handled under the Police Services Act of Ontario.
Tanner understands the outcry over the situation. “I fully understand the concerns voiced by our residents about this incident. And through emails, voicemails and social media comments since yesterday, I recognize that many have demanded the immediate firing of the individual involved,” he said.
The disciplinary process calls for a separate investigation into the incident, and a hearing. Firing the officer cannot take place before a finding of guilt through this process. “Unfortunately, both these processes take time depending on the circumstances; this understandably leads to frustration for many involved in the system and for those watching the process through the lens of the public. Nonetheless, they are the systems that we must function within,” he stated.
The statement ended with a promise for justice.”As Chief of Police, I can assure you that this matter will be dealt with appropriately and as swiftly as possible,” Tanner said.