Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

City cop pleads not guilty to aggravated assault

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A Winnipeg police officer has denied any wrongdoing in an alleged assault on a car theft suspect.

Const. Ryan Law began his week-long trial Monday by pleading not guilty to aggravated assault. He was arrested in 2009 following an internal investigation into an incident that happened a year earlier.

Henry Lavallee claims Law kicked him in the stomach and sent him to hospital for emergency care. He has also filed a civil lawsuit against the officer, which remains before the courts.

In an affidavit, Lavalle alleges an "unprovoked and brutal" assault by police after he and a friend were arrested for breaking into a vehicle. He says Law and a second WPS officer were involved.

In his statement of claim, Lavallee claims he was attacked as he was pulled out of a police cruiser to be led into the Public Safety Building. He said he was then placed in a lock-up room of the Public Safety Building, where he lay on the floor until Law entered the room and allegedly kicked him in the abdomen.

Lavallee alleges he requested medical care but was refused, until he arrived at the Remand Centre and began vomiting blood. The statement of claim said Lavallee was rushed to St. Boniface Hospital where he received emergency surgery. It says the police used "an excessive amount of physical force in restraining" Lavallee, and the alleged assault has caused pain and disability.

The statement of claim also names former WPS Chief Keith McCaskill as a plaintiff in the case. Law, who joined the police service in 2006, is actually the nephew of McCaskill.

 www.mikeoncrime.com

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