MONTREAL – Quebec’s police ethics committee has sanctioned three Montreal police officers in connection to their behaviour in a 2005 incident involving Anne-Marie Peladeau, sister of media-mogul-turned-politician Pierre Karl Peladeau.
Nearly nine years after the fact, the tribunal deemed the behavior of officers Roberto Sforza, Mike Mezzacappa and Lo Dico “derogatory” in reference to the violent arrest of Peladeau and Eric Kennedy.
The pair was apprehended after allegedly stealing cigarettes and initiating a police chase.
The arrest was caught on camera by a TVA camera.
TVA is owned by Quebecor, which in turn is run by the Peladeau family.
Sforza was found to have broken the code of ethics for aggressively shoving Peladeau while trying to get her to climb into the police car after she was arrested.
Peladeau hit her head on the door frame.
The committee called that measure “useless and excessive” and said it “constituted an abuse of authority.”
Sforza, Mezzacapa and Lo Dico were also admonished for not checking on the occupants of a truck involved in an accident during the chase needed help.
However, the committee considers that Sforza had reason to draw his weapon in a first attempt to arrest Peladeau because she allegedly threatened him with a syringe.
A citation against a fourth agent, Fabio Nicola Cavaliere, was withdrawn “for reasons of health and humanitarian consideration.”
The officers will be sentenced at a later date.
Judge Martin Vauclair of the Court of Quebec acquitted officers Sforza and Cavaliere of assault charges in May 2008.
Vauclair concluded that the police force used against Ms. Peladeau was vigorous, but deemed it necessary and not excessive.
© 2014 The Canadian Press