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Officer tells why he used force in arrest

Jul 26 2012

The second Victoria police officer, whose use of force during the arrest of Tyler Archer in March 2010 is under scrutiny, defended his actions at a public hearing Wednesday.

A video that captured the incident, which was posted on YouTube, was again used during the hearing into the use of force of Const. Brendan Robinson and Const.

Chris Bowser.

The hearing was ordered in February by the Office of the Police Compliant Commissioner.

Three previous investigations have cleared the officers of wrongdoing.

Robinson said during his testimony on Wednesday that the push and knee strikes he used on Archer, which can be seen in the video, were warranted.

He cited the chaotic situation and the urgency of getting medical attention for a man who had been stomped as reasons.

Robinson said he started his shift around 10: 30 p.m. on March 20, 2010.

The shift included checking on bars.

Robinson said he had just conducted a check at Darcy's Pub on Wharf Street and walked about a

Bosses paid bonuses as CLBC lost way block and a half before observing a brawl outside the Social Club about 12: 30 a.m.

He said he saw seven to 10 men in a brawl on the street and then noticed a "large male" stomping on another man's head.

"I thought I was witnessing a homicide," Robinson said during his testimony.

"It is my personal belief that Archer was the main aggressor," Robinson said.

He said he did not believe that at the time of incident, however.

A fellow police officer, Const. Jessica McLeod, used pepper spray to stop the attacker which, Robinson said, inadvertently hit the left side of his face.

"My left eye was closed, I was coughing, mucousy and could feel burning," Robinson said.

He said he still felt the effects when he was dealing with both Harpinder Kang and Archer.

Robinson said the crowd dispersed and he was confronted by Kang, who he said was yelling and swearing.

The video starts with Kang on the ground.

Robinson said Bowser's kick to Kang was "a positive" as it helped to gain control of the situation. Robinson said he kneed Kang as well.

Bowser can be seen in the video twice telling Archer to "get down on the ground."

Lawyers for both Archer and Robinson questioned Robinson on why he intervened and pushed Archer initially.

Robinson said Bowser's second command to Archer "drew my attention because it had a sense of urgency.

"My perception was Mr. Archer was arguing with Mr. Bowser," Robinson said.

When pressed on what signs he saw of an argument between Bowser and Archer, Robinson said: "To me, that is a form of an argument - when you're not complying with a direction given."

In the video, Archer sits down on the ground shortly after Bowser's command, but Robinson said his response "wasn't immediate."

Archer was pushed by Robinson, kicked by Bowser and kneed by Robinson multiple times before he was handcuffed.

The public hearing will resume on Aug. 7 with possible testimony from a use-of-force expert.

mkaralis@timescolonist.com

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