Vancouver police officer charged with assault for allegedly kicking man outside jail

WATCH: Global News has learned exclusive details on a criminal probe into the actions of two Vancouver Police officers. As Catherine Urquhart reports, the investigation involves assault allegations - at a time when the force faces accusations of systemic racism.

A Vancouver police officer has been criminally charged over an incident where he allegedly kicked an Indigenous man outside the Cordova street jail last year.

The BC Prosecution Service confirmed Wednesday that Const. Riley Emerson Robert Wiens had been charged with one count of assault over the March 20, 2021 incident.

Global News has previously reported that incident was reportedly captured on multiple security cameras.

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Sources said the alleged victim was a man in his 50s who had been been jailed for several hours on an allegation of public intoxication.

The alleged victim had words with a VPD officer who was returning to his vehicle when the officer kicked him in the chest, sending him backward into a pole, sources told Global News.

The man struck his head and fell to the ground, and the officer drove away with his partner without providing assistance, sources told Global News.

A woman at the bus stop across the street came to the man’s aid, and seeing that his head was bleeding, called 911, Sources said. He was taken to hospital by ambulance.

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A spokesperson for the Vancouver Police Department said Wiens had been placed on non-operational duties, and that a separate Police Act investigation had been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case. The VPD said it could not comment further while the matter was before the courts.

Wiens was awarded a Chief Constable’s Citation last year for an incident in 2020 when he and 15 other officers suffered smoke inhalation while evacuating residents from an apartment building where a man with a knife and chain barricaded himself inside and began lighting items on fire.

Wiens is scheduled for a first court appearance on Aug. 15.

— with files from Catherine Urquhart

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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