Convicted Calgary police officer rejected appeal against second conviction

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The Calgary police officer who beat a handcuffed woman face to the ground will not be given a second chance to appeal his conviction.

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Alberta Court of Appeals Judge Anne Kirker on Thursday denied attorney Alain Hepner’s request for leave to take Alexander Dunn’s case to the province’s highest court.

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Dunn was convicted by Provincial Court Judge Michelle Christopher of causing bodily harm to the late Dalia Kafi during her arrest on December 13, 2017.

Because the Crown acted summarily rather than by indictment, the case was appealed to a judge of the Court of King’s Bench.

On November 19, 2021, Judge Robert Hall ruled that the video evidence of Dunn’s interaction with Kafi was all Christopher needed to find the suspended officer guilty.

By refusing permission to further appeal the case, Kirker said Hepner could find no justification for taking the case to the county’s highest court.

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“I am not satisfied that the applicant has determined . . . that a second appeal is warranted,” Kirker said.

One of the grounds Hepner proposed was that Christopher had made a mistake in finding Dunn, became frustrated with Kafi, and overreacted when he knocked her to the ground at the arrest processing unit.

Kirker noted that the Crown did not raise that argument at trial, but Dunn was asked by his trial lawyer if that was his motivation and he denied it.

“In my opinion, the applicant was clearly aware of the case he was to deal with,” Kirker said.

In this still from a courtroom display video, Calgary Police Const.  Alexander Dunn is shown after knocking a black female suspect, Dalia Kafi, to the ground face first.
In this still from a courtroom display video, Calgary Police Const. Alexander Dunn is shown after knocking a black female suspect, Dalia Kafi, to the ground face first. Photo courtesy of Calgary court

“The suggestion that he acted out of anger or frustration was expressed to the applicant by his counsel and the applicant provided evidence of his emotional state when explaining his actions.

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“He relied on the claim that he was in no way angry or upset when he urged the trial judge to have reasonable doubts as to whether the Crown had denied the applicant’s alleged belief that the complainant had taken her hands off her handcuffs. achieved, justifying the actions he took. ,” said Kirker.

“The trial judge rejected the evidence to which she was entitled.”

In upholding Dunn’s conviction, Hall said the video evidence was compelling.

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words,” the judge said in his ruling, after taking a break to watch the video during the arguments.

Christopher sentenced Dunn to a 30-day suspended prison sentence in the community, which included 15 days of house arrest. An appeal by the Crown against that sentence is still pending.

Crown Prosecutor Ryan Pollard had demanded nine months in prison.

Dunn, 36, remains suspended without pay pending a conclusion of the case.

[email protected]

Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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