CANADA A video shown in court shows a Hamilton policeman...

A video shown in court shows a Hamilton policeman “trampling” on the Aboriginal’s head during his arrest.

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Patrick Tomchuk’s family (left to right): his sister Delia Baldwin, cousins ​​Jessica Oneil and Laura Erie, and mother Olga Tomchuk. Together with his two daughters, they came to the bail hearing to support him, they said. (Kara Nickerson/CBC)

WARNING: This story contains embarrassing details

Patrick Tomchuk was violently arrested in May, according to a video shown in court and viewed by CBC Hamilton. Hamilton Police (HPS) Const. Brian Wren was charged with assault in the incident.

Tomchuk’s lawyer, Jennifer Steenbeck, showed the video at Tomchuk’s bail hearing, which took place Wednesday at John Sopinka’s courthouse.

Tomchak is a native who was arrested on May 26 for stealing a car from a gas station on Mt.

“He was unconscious and they still kept hitting him on the head,” Tomchuk’s sister Delia Baldwin said, adding that the video made her stomach hurt.

The video shows several officers fighting Tomchuk between the gas station pumps. Officers appear to forcibly maneuver the man, yelling obscenities at him before the officer kicks Tomchuk in the head and then pins his head to the pavement several times with his foot.

Tomchuk is unconscious for most of the video.

Before the video was shown in court, Tomchuk’s children were asked to leave the room. The remaining members of Tomchuk’s family, including his mother, sister and cousins, wept when they saw the video.

Officer charged with assault

Wren was removed from office after the incident and on June 16 following an HPS investigation, he was charged with assault.

The video was confidentially given to Tomchuk’s lawyer by an eyewitness to the incident. According to Steenbeck, the video cannot yet be released to the public.

After the trial, Baldwin told reporters that she would like the person who filmed the attack to give the video to the family.

“I think it needs to be shown and people need to know that this is really happening. And we were just lucky that it was on camera,” she said.

Baldwin said the family wanted to share the video to draw attention to police brutality against Indigenous peoples.

A woman stands and speaks into microphones

Audrey Davis, executive director of the Hamilton Regional Indian Center, made recommendations to Hamilton police on Tuesday afternoon. (Bobby Christova/CBC)

At a press conference held outside HPS Central Station on Tuesday to draw attention to the case, Hamilton Regional Indian Center (HRIC) Executive Director Audrey Davis laid out recommendations for HPS employees to combat police violence and discrimination.

Her recommendations include a third-party investigation into the attack, HPS reviewing the hate crime charge against Ren, an investigation into past alleged attacks on Tomchuk by HPS, and police use of body cameras, among others.

“This needs to be stopped. Education, prevention and accountability should be the top law enforcement priority,” Davis said.

On Wednesday outside of court, Olga Tomchuk, Tomchuk’s mother, asked the person who filmed the video to come forward and contact Tomchuk’s family.

“Your name will not be mentioned,” Olga said. “I would like to thank you for making this video.”

Tomchak released on bail

Following the May incident, Tomchuk was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and stealing a car, and a hearing on Wednesday considered whether he should be released on bail.

Crown Attorney Brian Adsett argued that Tomchuk had a “horrible record” including multiple allegations of vehicle theft, a runaway from the police, and a history of drug use, the latter of which Adsett said is a factor in his criminal activities. Opposing bail, Adsett said Tomchuk has 27 convictions for violating court orders.

Steenbeck, meanwhile, said she doesn’t think Tomchuk is at risk of running away because of his family and community connections in Hamilton, as well as his desire for justice in the Wren attack.

By noon on Wednesday, Tomchuk was released on bail by Justice of the Peace Linda Crawford. According to Crawford, he will have to look into the unpaid Niagara Falls and Barry charges.

In reading her decision, Crawford said she took into account Tomchuk’s identity as an indigenous person and the impact of colonialism on indigenous peoples. Such considerations are known as the Gladue principles, stemming from the 1999 Supreme Court decision.

Crawford said Tomchuk was very lucky that his family supported him throughout his history of arrests.

“I think he’s just tired of it”

Tomchuk’s mother Olga said the attack on the video is not the worst attack Tomchuk has received from Hamilton Police Services.

According to Jessica Montana, the family’s contact at the Hamilton Regional Indian Center (HRIC), Steenbeck has more information about the other attack but could not comment on it yet.

Stenbeck has previously stated that an HPS officer attacked Tomchuk at least once. HPS head Frank Bergen told CBC Hamilton that the service is reviewing its files but has not yet found any documented instances of this. He also called the video “disturbing”.

On Wednesday, Tomchuk’s cousins ​​Jessica Oneil and Laura Erie agreed to look after Tomchuk while he is under house arrest. Oneil, Eri and Tomchuk will have to pay between $1,000 and $2,500 if Tomchuk violates his bail and flees.

Both cousins ​​said they were aware of Tomchuk’s addiction problems prior to his arrest and that they intended to get him “culturally appropriate help” through HRIC.

Asked by the Crown why this time this arrest would be different for Tomchuk, Oneil said: “At the moment he has something to hope for. He has kids and I think he’s just tired of it.”

Tomchuk will be placed under the joint supervision of Oneil and Eri. He will stay at Oneil’s residence, where Eri will look after him while Oneil is at work.

He will be required to wear a GPS monitor, will not be able to leave Oneil’s home without supervision from Oneil or Erie, and will not be allowed to drive or sit in the driver’s seat of vehicles.

Tomchuk’s next trial date is September 8, while Ren is due to appear in court on August 18.

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