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Kicking victim reacts to RCMP officer’s not guilty plea

Kelowna, B.C. (CHBC News) – It was a violent incident caught on camera that captured the attention of the nation: a police officer kicking a man in the head.

On Thursday, the victim in the ordeal, Buddy Tavares, spoke to CHBC News.

The 52-year-old Kelowna man is upset over the latest development in the case: the officer accused of the kick, Constable Geoff Mantler, has pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault causing bodily harm.

Tavares says he is surprised the officer pleaded not guilty especially given the fact the entire incident was captured on video.

“A picture is worth a thousand words. What is a video worth?” Tavares said.

The not guilty plea came on Tuesday.

Mantler didn’t appear in court but instead entered his plea through his lawyer Neville McDougall.

McDougall says the reason behind the not guilty plea is because there is a lot more to the story than just a 30 second video clip.

When asked whether Mantler’s behaviour was acceptable, McDougall says Mantler was faced with a situation and the officer conducted himself the way he thought was appropriate.

McDougall also says whether the act is found to be a mistake does not necessary mean it is criminal.

Tavares, on the other hand, says there is no doubt in his mind that the action was criminal.

A trial date has yet to be set but in the meantime, he has also launched a civil suit against the RCMP officer.

And he is looking forward to putting this whole ordeal behind him but admits he’s haunted by one lingering question.

“I played it over and over in my head. Why? Why? That’s all I want to know from Mantler,” Tavares said.

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Categories: Excessive use of Force, Mounties Breaking The Law, Mounties Charged.

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