VPD officer found guilty for punching cyclist
Published Tuesday, August 4, 2015 3:01PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 4, 2015 7:13PM PDT
A Vancouver police officer has been found guilty of punching a cyclist in the face during an arrest two years ago.
An investigation was launched into Const. Ismail Bhabha’s conduct after a YouTube video surfaced of the officer striking a man he was attempting to handcuff in March 2013.
The officer maintained he was trying to arrest the cyclist because he blew through a red light in Yaletown and wasn’t wearing a helmet.
A probe into the incident was assigned to the West Vancouver police by the Office of the Police Complaints Commission. After reviewing the evidence, Crown approved a single charge of assault in Sept. 2013.
During last year’s trial, the cyclist, Andishae Akhavan-Kharazi, told Vancouver provincial court he said it was "bulls***" that officers were giving him a ticket.
He testified that when his arm was twisted behind his back, he turned his head and was punched, leaving him with a chipped tooth, a cut lip and injuries to his neck and jaw.
The confrontation was filmed by a bystander, and the footage sparked outrage on YouTube.
It appears to show Bhabha striking the cyclist, who asks “Why did you punch me?”
“Because you was resisting,” Bhabha replies. “I was trying to put my cuffs on you and you pulled your arm away.”
A spokesperson for the Vancouver police said Const. Bhabha will remain in his current position in patrol until the court proceedings are completed.
A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for November.