No jail time for Vancouver cop who punched cyclist in head
Published Tuesday, November 3, 2015 3:43PM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 3, 2015 7:54PM PST
A Vancouver police officer who punched a cyclist in the head during a traffic stop two years ago doesn’t have to spend any time behind bars, and is remaining on the force.
Const. Ismail Bhabha was found guilty of assault in August, and on Tuesday was sentenced to a conditional discharge with six months’ probation.
That means if Bhabha completes his probation, the conviction will eventually be wiped from his record.
The officer will also be keeping his job, Chief Const. Adam Palmer said, noting Bhabha’s “good track record.”
“None of us are perfect and we all have ups and downs in life and I want to look at the total track record of that police officer’s history,” Palmer told reporters Tuesday.
“He’s received commendations, we’ve had no issues with him and one issue like this is not going to be something that determines the rest of their life as a police officer.”
Bhabha was also ordered to pay a $100 victim surcharge.
The officer struck the cyclist in March 2013 while trying to put him in handcuffs, an incident that was caught on a bystander’s cell phone camera and uploaded to YouTube.
The cyclist, Andishae Akhavan-Kharazi, had allegedly run a red light on his bike in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood.
During Bhabha’s trial, Akhavan-Kharazi testified that he had his arm twisted behind his back and was turning his head when he was punched.
The cyclist said he suffered a chipped tooth, a cut lip, and injuries to his neck and jaw in the assault.