Three convicted RCIPS officers have been suspended with full pay.
Those officers are Cardiff Robinson (31) and Austin Etienne (45) and Micheal Peart.
Newly appointed Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne issued the suspension notices yesterday (Friday 9 December), his first public administrative disciplinary action.
Commissioner Byrne, in announcing the disciplinary action today (Saturday 10 December) says, officers have a responsibility to protect and excessive force should not be an option in executing that responsibility.
“Police officers have important duties to carry out while enforcing the law and ensuring public safety and they must have the right to use reasonable force while doing so without threat of prosecution. But this right never extends to the excessive use of force, which violates basic rights, erodes public confidence, and undermines the good work that the overwhelming majority of RCIPS officers often put themselves in harm’s way to do,” Commissioner Byrne says in the RCIPS statement.
Yesterday, (Friday December 9) the three RCIPS officers were formally suspended following criminal convictions for assault over the past week.
Robinson and Etienne, both of whom were convicted of common assault after they shot a suspect with a Taser gun at least twice after a car chase more than two years ago. Magistrate Philippa McFarlane found them guilty following a Summary Court trial in September.
The third officer Senior Constable Peart was convicted of common assault and assault causing actual bodily harm to a suspect in his custody. The incident stemmed from a confrontation between him and a man he knew while he was working a traffic checkpoint on Eastern Avenue in November 2014. He will be sentenced next March after being convicted Monday (5 December)
The new Commissioner says in all of those cases the assaults occurred on suspects the officers were taking into custody.
Therefore, “pursuant to 95(2) of the Police Law (2014 Revision), the constables have been suspended from any and all police duties, but will continue to receive their police salary.”
The release says further developments with respect to the officers employment status with the RCIPS will be shared as appropriate.