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Calgary officer charged for assaulting man after use-of-force investigation


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CALGARY — The Calgary Police Services says it has charged one of its officers with assaulting a man in custody.

Police allege the assault happened April 9, 2019, after a 20-minute pursuit of a stolen vehicle.

They say a male driver was arrested after fleeing from officers and attempting to ram police cruisers.

Police say after the man was handcuffed and on the ground, an officer who was not part of the initial arrest applied force “that was not required, necessary or reasonable as part of his duties.”

Authorities say the officer was investigated after a standard review of the police pursuit flagged a concern.

Const. Benjamin Zampa, who has been with Calgary police for four years, is charged with one count of assault and has been assigned to administrative duties while his status on the force is reviewed. 

“Criminal charges can be laid against officers in cases where the evidence supports it, but only after the Crown Prosecution Service has conducted a thorough review,” Calgary police said in a statement Tuesday. 

“When criminal charges are laid, the court process for those charges must conclude before any internal discipline or dismissal can be considered.”

It also said that decisions about an officer’s status during the court and disciplinary process are based on factors such as risk to the public, procedural fairness and options available for modified duties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2021

The Canadian Press

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Gustavsson leads AHL Senators in 4-2 win over Heat

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CALGARY — Filip Gustavsson stopped 30 shots as the Belleville Senators doubled up the Stockton Heat 4-2 on Wednesday in American Hockey League play.

Lassi Thomson, Egor Sokolov, Mark Kastelic and Parker Kelly scored to help the Senators (8-12-1) halt a three-game slide.

Matthew Phillips and Zac Leslie replied for the Heat (10-12-1).

Garret Sparks stopped 28-of-31 shots for Stockton.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

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CALGARY — The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks.

Alberta Education said Wednesday that it approved requests from public and Catholic schools in the city to make the move to online learning.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said in a release that some school boards are dealing with operational pressures due to rising COVID-19 cases.

“The safety of students and staff is my top priority, which is why I am responding to the boards’ requests and respecting their autonomy,” she said.

“By having a clear process in place, we are giving them flexibility to move to at-home learning when necessary.”

The province said it has not closed any schools for health reasons, and any decision to move a portion of a school to at-home learning is at the discretion of each school board.

About 19 per cent of schools have COVID-19 alerts or outbreaks. Nine schools are currently doing online learning.

Marilyn Dennis, board chair with the Calgary Board of Education, said in the release that the greatest impacts of COVID-19 have been in schools with higher grades.

Alberta’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, also said there has been a sharp rise in cases among school-aged Albertans.

The province, with 15,569 active infections, currently has the highest rate of active cases in Canada.

On Wednesday, the province reported 1,412 new cases of COVID-19 and eight additional deaths due to the virus. There were 420 people in hospital due to COVID-19, with 92 in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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