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This article was published 11/6/2019 (399 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Manitoba's police watchdog has announced criminal charges against three officers: two with the RCMP and one with the City of Winnipeg.
With eight police officers charged (in seven cases) during the first four years of Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba operations, having three more officers accused of criminal activity represents an almost 38 per cent jump in incidents.
IIU civilian director Zane Tessler said Tuesday the charging of three officers in one day was "actually more of a coincidence than anything else."
"They all came to conclusion at about the same time. There's nothing special about it... (The charges) were ready to go, so they just came out that way. It's more than the usual, but it's rare, more than unusual."
Tessler said Tuesday's release of the three media alerts — as well as a fourth, concluding there was insufficient evidence to charge an Altona Police Service officer with pointing a firearm at a female youth's head — had nothing to do with the upcoming provincial government news blackout during the period before an election.
The most serious of the three incidents resulted in an RCMP officer being charged with sexual assault.
The IIU said Winnipeg police were investigating a sexual-assault allegation involving a RCMP officer in February, when the police watchdog took over the matter in March. In a statement, Tessler said there were "reasonable and probable grounds to believe a criminal offence occurred."
RCMP Const. Peter Mangera, 38, will appear in court Aug. 7.
RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Julie Courchaine said Mangera "is still employed with the RCMP, but is currently suspended with pay at this time."
Courchaine said Mangera has worked about a year-and-a-half as a Mountie.
As well, a Thompson RCMP officer has been charged with assault following an investigation by the IIU.
The IIU said when two officers responded to a call about an intoxicated woman Sept. 12, they became involved in an altercation with a male bystander. One of the officers is accused of "punching the man several times in the face."
Const. Greg Oke will appear in provincial court in Thompson on Aug. 9.
Meanwhile, a Winnipeg police officer has been charged with assault causing bodily harm following an IIU investigation.
Const. Dustin Rodeck, 33, will appear in court Aug. 7. He becomes only the third Winnipeg police officer charged since the IIU came into existence and began investigating alleged police wrongdoing about four years ago.
The charge comes after allegations a 36-year-old man suffered a broken right orbital bone while being detained by police on June 16, 2018.
Police said the incident occurred after officers followed a vehicle being driven erratically through the city and, after the vehicle was stopped, used force to subdue an unco-operative driver.
A WPS spokeswoman said the matter is under review.
Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.
Updated on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 7:57 PM CDT: Updates headline
10:51 PM: Updates headline to match print version
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