A public hearing has been ordered into the conduct of a transit police officer accused of using “unnecessary and excessive force” on a senior at Surrey Memorial Hospital three years ago.
Const. Ken Jansen, a South Coast British Columbia Transportation Police Service member, faces one allegation of abuse of authority, five allegations of deceit, and one of discreditable conduct.
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) announced the public hearing order Friday (May 24).
The accusations involve an incident on April 22, 2010. Robert Keith Booker, a then-73-year-old Surrey man, was arrested at his home under the Mental Health Act for having a knife and acting in a threatening way. He was taken to the hospital for assessment.
It was at Surrey Memorial Hospital that Jansen and RCMP Const. Mitchell Spears allegedly assaulted Booker. Spears was also accused of using a Taser on the senior.
The allegations are that Jansen abused his authority by using “reckless and unnecessary” force on Booker, knowingly made multiple false or misleading statements in his notebook, in a police database, and to his superiors, both in writing and orally, and behaved in a manner he should have known would discredit the transit police.
A discipline proceeding held April 11 determined the allegations had been proven, according the OPCC. The proposed discipline includes a five-day suspension for abuse of authority, three day suspension for discreditable conduct and dismissal for the deceit allegations.
Pursuant to the Police Act, an officer is entitled to a public hearing where the proposed discipline is dismissal or a reduction in rank. On April 24, Jansen requested such a hearing.
The Police Complaint Commissioner Stan Lowe deemed the hearing warranted in order to examine and cross-examine witnesses, as well as gather additional evidence.
“In addition, I am of the view that a public hearing is required to provide the necessary transparency and accountability, to preserve public confidence in the investigation of misconduct and the administration of police discipline,” wrote Lowe in a press release.
Jansen and RCMP Const. Mitchell Spears were also charged criminally in connection with the Booker incident, but their case was stayed in March 2013 due to court delays. They had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Retired provincial court Judge Carole Lazar will preside over the public hearing, the date of which has yet to be set.