Closing arguments heard in internal hand-stun charge

Both lawyers in a case where a city constable struck an Oilers fan who was handcuffed behind her back agree she was defiant toward police during a post-game celebration on Whyte Avenue during the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs.

What they don’t agree on is whether or not it was right for Const. Shane Connor to use a hand-stun on Kristin Wilson after she briefly skirted away from the officer June 12, 2006, in full view of Edmonton Journal photographers.


During closing arguments at an internal disciplinary hearing yesterday, defence lawyer Alex Pringle told Halifax-based RCMP assistant commissioner Ian Atkins that Wilson’s verbal aggressiveness toward Connor warranted his use of a hand-stun.

According to previous testimony, words were exchanged between the two after Wilson was caught by Connor. Seconds later, the officer struck the woman before taking her down to the ground.

"She said, ‘Take your f----- hands off of me,’" said Pringle, who argued Wilson was an "active resister," which gave police the right to use aggressive force appropriately under its training guidelines. "Don’t those words imply there is going to be further resistance?"

Police service lawyer Simon Johnson argued that despite the woman’s drunk behaviour, she was "physically co-operative" with police.

Johnson says the hand-stun was at the "high end of physical control tactics," but Pringle argues the officer was justified in what he did.

Connor is facing an internal charge of unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority. His previous charge of discreditable conduct was dropped Wednesday.

Atkins is expected to announce his decision April 21.

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