Police mulling how assault will affect officer’s role

Police say it’s too soon to tell what Lake Cowichan Const. Kevan Cranmer’s assault conviction will mean for his future with the RCMP.

Cranmer pleaded guilty to one charge of assault on Thursday in Nanaimo, and was sentenced to nine-months’ probation, which includes 50 hours of community work service.

“It’s too early at this point to say what effect today’s guilty plea by our officer will have,” RCMP spokesman Sgt. Rob Vermeulen said on Thursday, a few hours after Cranmer’s sentence was handed down by Judge Patrick Dohm.

What is known is that the charge stemmed from an incident that occurred while Cranmer was on duty.

The court heard that on the night of Dec. 13, 2010, two Lake Cowichan RCMP officers — including Cranmer — were conducting a roadblock looking for impaired drivers.

The female victim of the assault was stopped in the roadblock and asked to perform a roadside-screening device test.

As it was raining at the time, the woman provided a breath sample in the back of a police cruiser.

She failed the test, and then proceeded to light a cigarette in the vehicle, court heard.

Cranmer then tried to get the woman out of the police car, which is when his fellow officer felt Cranmer was using excessive force to extract her from the car.

Cranmer apparently didn’t realize the woman’s leg was stuck.

When the other officer noticed this, they were able to remove the woman from the vehicle, but there was a further struggle between Cranmer and the victim outside of the car.

The woman was ultimately arrested for impaired driving, and the other officer reported concerns about Cranmer’s use of force back at the detachment, which led to the criminal investigation.

“It’s important to remember this wasn’t reported by the public or the person involved,” Vermeulen added.

“It was reported by another RCMP officer, who believed that the level of force he saw being used was more than it needed to be, and that’s what resulted in the criminal charge and led to (Thursday’s) court proceedings.”

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