Global News has obtained security video of a 2017 arrest in East Vancouver that left a suspect with serious injuries, and resulted in assault charges against three Vancouver police officers.
Constables Beau Spencer and Brandon Blue along with retired constable Gregory Jackson have pleaded not guilty, while David Cowie suffered four broken ribs and a partially-collapsed lung during his arrest.
Three Vancouver police officers charged with assault in connection with 2017 arrest
According to evidence presented in court in October, Cowie fled the scene of an alleged theft from a vehicle on a bicycle on May 24, 2017.
Const. Josh Wong, who is not facing any charges related to the incident, tackled Cowie at the Commercial- Broadway SkyTrain station. Wong then called a “Code 3” for cover, the most serious call for backup.
The security video then depicts the three additional officers racing in to help.
Spencer can be seen delivering multiple blows, including three punches and three knee strikes within six seconds according to Crown prosecutors.
Crown lawyer Peter Campbell told the court that in between the first three punches and first two knee strikes, there is no assessment on whether the individual hits are effective.
Spencer told the court he disagrees, and testified he was assessing, but that there was no change in Cowie’s behaviour, and that the suspect was actively resisting.
Campbell also suggested that Spencer and Wong watched the CCTV footage a week after the incident so Spencer could justify the use of force.
New details on Vancouver police officers in Myles Gray case
Smoke’s Poutinerie founder and CEO Ryan Smolkin dead at 50
Ozempic maker faces proposed class action lawsuit alleging ‘dangerous side effects’
Spencer also disputed that assertion, telling the court their intentions were only to see if Cowie dropped anything.
Earlier this year both Spencer and Wong testified at a coroner’s inquest about their involvement in the arrest of Myles Gray in 2017.
Gray died following an interaction with several officers which left him with injuries including a fractured eye socket, crushed voice box and ruptured testicle.
Police testified they felt their lives were on the line. No charges were laid against any officers, however an investigation by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is ongoing.
In the assault allegations regarding Cowie’s arrest, currently before the court, Blue also testified that the suspect was actively resisting arrest and fighting. His concern, he told the court, was that Cowie could potentially access a weapon.
Crown also questioned Jackson as to why he made no notes or entries in the police database about the incident. Jackson testified that doing so was not a requirement.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
The trial is set to resume in Vancouver Provincial Court next month, with a verdict expected in January.
— with files from Rumina Daya
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.