Lethbridge officer charged with assaulting prisoner

Lethbridge police file photo.

A Lethbridge police officer has been charged with assaulting a prisoner earlier this year.

Lethbridge Police Service officer David Easter faces one count of assault and has been relieved from his duties without pay pending court proceedings.

Police say the alleged assault on a male prisoner took place Feb. 9 in a Lethbridge short-term holding facility. The prisoner was not injured.

An internal complaint led to an investigation by the LPS’s professional standards unit. Alberta’s director of law enforcement directed the investigation be completed internally rather than by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, the province’s police watchdog.

After the investigation was complete, it was forwarded to the Alberta Crown prosecution service, which recommended the assault charge.

“In this case I believe exceptional circumstances exist that warrant the relief of duty without pay for the good of the Police Service and to uphold the public expectation that police officers be held to the highest standards,” LPS Chief Scott Woods said in a news release Sunday.

The Lethbridge police commission will review Woods’ decision to relieve Easter of his duties without pay.

Easter was released from custody and will next appear in court in Lethbridge on Nov. 4.

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