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The judge believes that the police officer used excessive force during the altercation.

Heavy-handed arrest in Campbellton: the police officer guilty

RCMP officer Pierrick Caron was filmed as he punched a man during an arrest in Campbellton, New Brunswick, July 2, 2021. (File photo)

  • Catherine Allard (View profile)Catherine Allard

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RCMP officer involved in brutal arrest in Campbellton, New Brunswick, declared guilty of assault at his trial. Constable Pierrick Caron was accused of beating a man during an arrest in July 2021.

Judge Brigitte Sivret rendered her decision Wednesday afternoon.

The courtroom was full. Pierrick Caron was notably accompanied by his partner, members of his family and numerous colleagues from the RCMP. A shock wave passed through the room when the judgment was pronounced.

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Police officer Pierrick Caron at the palace court of Campbellton, during his trial in October 2023 (Archive photo)

The altercation occurred on July 2, 2021, outside the Tim Hortons restaurant on Roseberry Street. The incident was captured by a witness's smartphone and widely shared on social media.

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At his trial, Pierrick Caron claimed that he used a police technique known as distraction shots during the incident and that he did so because the complainant, André Mercier, was aggressive.

In her decision, the judge stated that she had difficulty with Pierrick Caron's testimony and that his version of the facts had been contradicted by significant eyewitnesses. She concluded that her testimony is unreliable and does not represent what happened.

Constable Caron's police intervention towards Mercier as the latter was leaving the Tim Hortons was not justified, the force used was not necessary and this force was undeniably excessive in the circumstances.

A quote from Extract from the decision of judge Brigitte Sivret

She also stated that André Mercier was known in the community as an individual who had mental health problems and that he was known to the police.

It concluded that the force used by the accused during the arrest was disproportionate and unreasonable.

Pierrick Caron's sentence will be pronounced on June 11 at 10 a.m.

According to testimonies presented in court, Pierrick Caron intervened with André Mercier at the start of the day in a grocery store.

Later that day- there, while he was on a dinner break, the gendarme went to the Tim Hortons restaurant to respond to a second call concerning André Mercier.

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The arrest of André Mercier took place in front of this Tim Hortons on Roseberry Street, in Campbellton. (Archive photo)

When he arrived at the restaurant, he said he spoke with the man , who seemed intoxicated. During the discussion, he suspected that André Mercier had committed theft and attempted to arrest him.

This is where the situation escalated.

When pronouncing her verdict, the judge recalled that Pierrick Caron had admitted to having said, earlier in the day of July 2, 2021, that if we're not stopping it today, we're going to have it on our legs all weekend.

According to Brigitte Sivret, this shows that Pierrick Caron intended to arrest André Mercier well before suspecting him of x27;having committed shoplifting.

The trial of Pierrick Caron took place in mid-October and lasted three days.

Obviously, what now means that the police officer is found guilty and sentenced is that he had been filmed carrying out the actions for which he was found guilty, noted Jean Sauvageau , a criminologist at St. Thomas University. This type of case could reinforce among police forces the feeling that filming citizens or wearing body cameras has become necessary for them, to try to control as much as possible the images which eventually become known to the public, he said in interview, Wednesday. Police impunity is less and less obvious, underlines Jean Sauvageau. There aren't a lot of convictions [of police officers] still in criminal court, but there are more now than there were just a few years ago, and for decades.

With information from Serge Bouchard and Nouemsi Njiké

  • Catherine Allard (Consult the profile)Catherine AllardFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116