Defence closes case in Edmonton police officer's assault trial, decision expected late August

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The legal team representing an Edmonton police constable accused of assaulting a suspect elected to close its case Thursday as the trial enters its final stages.

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Michael Danyluik, counsel for Const. Michael Partington, told provincial court Judge Peter Ayotte Thursday that he would not be calling further witnesses.

Partington spent Wednesday on the stand testifying about the Aug. 27, 2019, arrest in which he drove his knee into Elliot McLeod, who was restrained beneath fellow constable Curtis McCargar.

Partington was relieved from duty without pay and charged with assault in June 2020.

Danyluik earlier mused about calling an Edmonton Police Service use of force expert to testify but told court Thursday that it would not be necessary.

Closing arguments are expected to begin Friday.

McCargar arrested McLeod after stopping him near 118 Avenue for riding a bicycle without a bell. McLeod fled after giving a fake name to McCargar, who tackled him off the bike following a short chase.

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McCargar testified he feared for his safety and delivered several punches to the back of McLeod’s head after subduing him. He also admitted to swearing at McLeod, including calling him a “fat f— and a motherf—r.”

Partington eventually arrived on scene after McCargar radioed for help handcuffing the suspect. He claimed he attempted to “place” his knee between McLeod’s shoulder blades. The Crown, on the other hand, said Partington “dropped” his entire body weight onto McLeod’s back using his knee — a characterization with which Partington agreed after watching civilian video of the incident that emerged a year later.

The Crown argues Partington downplayed the use of force in subsequent reports.

Ayotte said he will reserve his decision until later this month.

jwakefield@postmedia.com

twitter.com/jonnywakefield

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