Alberta Mountie gets probation for in-custody assault on Indigenous man

HIGH PRAIRIE, Alta. — A Mountie has been given 15 months probation for assaulting an Indigenous man shortly after his arrest in northern Alberta.

A judge convicted Const. Licio Soares, an eight-year RCMP veteran, in May of assaulting 32-year-old Vernon Laboucan at the Slave Lake RCMP detachment in September 2017.

As part of his probation, Soares is required to complete 150 hours of community service as well as an education course on the historical harm the RCMP has had on Indigenous communities.

The assault came shortly after an intoxicated Laboucan was arrested for mischief.

Video shown in court showed the officer taking Laboucan to the ground headfirst, and landing several blows to his head and back after Laboucan tossed his sweater at Soares.

Alberta’s agency that investigates police actions said Laboucan, who has a criminal record, was not seriously hurt.