After pleading guilty to assault against a 13-year-old boy inside the Regina Police Service booking area, Cpl. Colin Magee was sentenced to a conditional discharge on Friday in Saskatchewan provincial court.
As part of his sentence, Magee is subject to one-year probation which includes community service, anger management and he must write the boy a letter apologizing.
The incident dates back to Sept. 27, 2018, when the boy, referred to as J.M., was arrested on outstanding warrants by Regina police.
In an eight-minute video from that day, J.M. is seen emptying his pockets while answering questions from two uniformed officers seen on screen.
An unseen RPS member asks the teen about an item, which court heard was a plastic baggie with a substance inside, stuffed into a pill bottle.
After saying it’s a “family thing,” J.M. stops responding. Magee then appears on camera for the first time, coming through the door from the booking office to approach the teen.
Magee can be seen placing his hand on the back of the boy’s neck, forcing him to ground. While it lasts several seconds, after which J.M. is seen crying, no injuries were sustained.
Judge Murray Hinds called the incident unprovoked, saying Magee man-handled the teen hoping to get an answer, adding Magee was in a position of authority and no officers were in imminent danger.
“There were aggravating factors here and the court considered it and in a case like this a sentencing judge has broad discretion in imposing a penalty,” Crown attorney Bill Burge said. “It’s clear that he thought about this carefully and considered all of the aggravating and mitigating factors, imposing the sentence he thought was appropriate.”
At the same time, Hinds says he believes Magee to be remorseful and points to several stress factors in his life at the time. He also pointed out that Magee has no criminal record.
“What we learn from a case like this is that behind every uniform, inside every uniform, is an individual who has things going on in their world — good things and bad things,” defence lawyer Aaron Fox said. “Stressors and problems and health issues and so on. I think we have to remember that when we see conduct that crosses the line.”
“This is a case where there is no question that it was conduct that crossed the line and this officer accepted responsibility for it.”
If Magee meets the terms of his conditions, he won’t have a criminal conviction for this offence. He also faces charges for a separate assault allegation which goes to trial in December.
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