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Halifax police officer charged for assaulting teen outside Bedford Place Mall

Dozens gathered outside Charles P. Allen High School to walk 16-year-old Demario Chambers to school on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.
Dozens gathered outside Charles P. Allen High School to walk 16-year-old Demario Chambers to school on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. Graeme Benjamin/Global News

A member of the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) has been charged with assault, said Nova Scotia’s independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) on Wednesday.

“The charge against the officer relates to injuries sustained by a 15-year-old youth during his arrest outside Bedford Place Mall on February 21, 2020,” said SiRT in a press release.

READ MORE: Walk with Demario: Community unites for teen subjected to violent arrest in Bedford

A video of the incident was shot on the teen’s cell phone and shared on Facebook, where it was viewed thousands of times in February. It shows him asking two officers why he’s being arrested for being outside at a shopping mall and what he’s being charged with, before being brought to the ground.

Halifax police said at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 they received a call to assist security at the mall regarding an incident involving a male and female youth.

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Demario Chambers, who’s now 16-year-old, sustained injuries as he was arrested.

“I didn’t really do anything so I didn’t know why they were there,” Chambers told Global News on Sept. 8. regarding the incident.

“I just want to get justice for the situation and help other people that this might happen to, or anyone else who might go through experiences like this,” he added.

According to SiRT, Const. Mark Pierce will appear in Halifax provincial court on Nov. 17 regarding the assault charge.

SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia.

“The completion of SiRT’s investigation is an important step in the process. We are currently reviewing the report in order to determine our next steps,” said Halifax Regional Police in response to SiRT’s statement.

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READ MORE: Arrest of 15-year-old raises questions over police commitment to Halifax’s Black community

Following the charge laid by SiRT, police said this incident will now be subject to the court process.

“Halifax Regional Police is committed to its efforts to build trust with communities we serve. We recognize that this incident has been the subject of significant public interest, and in every instance, it is important to let due process unfold.”

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