Monday, March 01, 2010

Const. Doug Lemna Accused of Using Excessive Force

A longtime veteran of the Abbotsford, B.C., police department has been charged with assault.

Const. Doug Lemna is accused of using excessive force on a mischief suspect in September 2009.

Police say the 19-year member was responding to a disturbance call on Jasper Court around 4 a.m. when two suspects believed to be yelling and breaking windows fled on bikes.

The duo was eventually located three-and-a-half blocks away. The alleged assault happened while one of the suspects was being detained and other officers went back to the scene to investigate.

Abbotsford Police Chief Constable Bob Rich ordered an investigation after "an issue with the use for force" used by Lemna was brought to the department's attention by a member reviewing the case file.

A criminal charge was recommended after the completion of a probe by the department's professional standards section.

Crown Counsel approved a charge of assault late Friday night.

Lemna was re-assigned to desk duties in October, where he remains.

This is the second investigation into an Abbotsford police officer in recent months.

In February, B.C.'s Police Complaint Commissioner ordered a public hearing into the conduct Const. Alex Wood after he allegedly broke a man's finger while seizing his camera in September 2008.

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