A Halifax police officer says he saw two of his colleague’s hands around a woman’s throat during an arrest last year.
Const. Olivier Duquet-Perron testified at a hearing of the Nova Scotia Police Review Board on Tuesday. It was the second day of the hearing, where Susan Doman is accusing Const. Jason Wilson of using excessive force during her arrest in April 2021.
On Monday, as the Halifax Examiner reported, Const. Kaven Daneault testified that he and another officer went to an apartment in Halifax to arrest Doman for an alleged breach of conditions. She became agitated, and they called in additional officers, one of whom was Wilson.
Daneault testified that while escorting Doman to the door of the apartment, he heard Doman try to spit at Wilson. Wilson then pushed her face away with one hand, Daneault said. Doman, who was handcuffed, lost her balance, Daneault said, and then the two of them fell to the floor.
Duquet-Perron characterized the incident differently, both in an interview with a detective and in testimony on Tuesday.
“You witnessed him take me by the throat and drop me to the floor, is that correct?” Doman asked based on the interview.
“Yes, this is what I saw after hearing him say you had spit on him,” Duquet-Perron said.
Duquet-Perron said spitting is assaulting an officer, and it’s considered a “substantial” impact on an officer. Each officer reacts differently depending on the circumstances, he said.
“I was spit on several times. Sometimes I didn’t do nothing, sometimes I also had to strike the person who spit in my face,” Duquet-Perron said.
Doman said she did not spit on the officer. Duquet-Perron said he didn’t see her spit, just heard Wilson say she spit on him.
Officer saw two hands around woman’s neck
“How many hands did Constable Wilson have around my neck?” Doman asked.
“I saw two,” Duquet-Perron said.
Doman also asked Duquet-Perron about a piece of wooden moulding on the floor of the apartment after the incident.
“During, I would say, the takedown, either your feet or Constable Wilson’s feet may have touched the moulding that was probably not secured properly to the floor,” he said.
Doman said Duquet-Perron earlier told a detective that her head hit the the floor with enough force to break the moulding. Duquet-Perron said that was a mistake by the detective.
“Your head did touch the floor, but the moulding did not move away from the floor. It was improperly secured, and either your feet or Constable Wilson’s feet moved or interacted with that piece of moulding,” he said.
On cross examination from Wilson’s lawyer, David Bright, Duquet-Perron said he’s been with Halifax Regional Police seven years and arrested numerous people for intoxication. He said he believed Doman was intoxicated, slurring her speech, and her demeanour was “very loose.”
Wilson is expected to testify when the hearing resumes on Wednesday.