CALGARY – A trio of groups is calling on the Calgary Police Service to fire a police officer who was found guilty of assault last year.
Cst. Alex Dunn was charged with assault causing bodily harm after he was seen throwing a woman down on the floor face-first during an arrest in December 2017.
Surveillance footage, which went viral, showed Dunn in an altercation with Dalia Kafi, who was already handcuffed when he slammed her onto the ground.
FULL VIDEO: Const. Alex Dunn is seen slamming a woman to the ground
(Warning: this video contains graphic material. Viewer discretion is advised.)
Kafi needed surgery for a broken nose and stitches in her lip.
The court found him guilty of assault causing bodily harm in December 2020.
Dunn testified during his trial he believed the takedown was necessary, but he did not mean to throw her face first.
“There’s no doubt there’s a visceral reaction to watching this video,” defence laywer Cory Wilson said, following the verdict.
“He said, ‘I did not intend this judo throw. I tried to take her down in accordance with my CPS training. It didn’t work as I anticipated because of my mistaken belief that she wasn’t in handcuffs.’ And that, again, was unfortunately overlooked in my respectful opinion.”
The defense for Dunn argued he felt Kafi’s hand on his wrist and thought she had got out of her handcuffs, at which point he threw her down in a defensive move officers are trained to do.
Dunn’s takedown was a “textbook” execution according and he was not in a situation where he or any officer could be gentle, according to the defence.
The Calgary Police Service (CPS) had said it is conducting an internal investigation into Dunn’s conduct and Dunn is currently suspended without pay.
A decision on whether Dunn will be fired, however, has not yet been made.
“Given that the process for officer discipline is highly regulated, and quasi-judicial in Alberta, it takes time to get through it. However, we are committed to seeing this case through and assure you that the length of the process is not an indication that the matter is not being taken seriously,” CPS said in a statement.
#BlackLivesMatter protestors show up outside #Calgary Courts Centre. They're here to protest against Const. Alex Dunn who was sentenced for 1mo after assaulting a handcuffed black woman. #BLM demonstrators are upset Dunn is still a cop w/ CPS, saying he needs to be fired. #yyc pic.twitter.com/eOxzubttru
— Saif Kaisar (@StaySaif) July 26, 2021
Inclusive Canada, Black Lives Matter Calgary, and Black People United have organized a series of protests outside the courthouse this week calling for Dunn’s firing.
“It is unacceptable for this man to hold any form of public servant position especially one that provides him with a badge and a gun,” reads a release from the organizers of the protest.
The trio goes on to say that there should be a public record in order to ensure this case isn’t forgotten and to ensure that Dunn won’t find another job as any kind of public servant.
We will be outside the courthouse everyday from 8am to 5pm and we ask the community to join us in protest! Bring water, snacks, signs and noisemakers. We will also be taking the opportunity to educate people on the importance of defunding the police on the road to abolition.
— Taylor McNallie (she/her) (@TaylorMadeYYC) July 22, 2021
“Alex Dunn should never be in a position of power in our community ever again.”
The organizers are also calling on Calgarians to write a letter or email to government officials calling for Dunn’s release.
They say they will be at the courthouse every day from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. until Dunn is fired.