A Calgary police officer has been suspended with pay, after he was charged with assaulting a woman who was the unwitting victim of a licence plate swap.
At 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, police say officers saw a vehicle that, according to its licence plate, appeared to have been reported stolen. Police followed the vehicle as it parked outside of a building in the 1200 block of 34th Avenue N.E.
Police say after the driver left the vehicle and approached the entrance, a canine police officer approached her and ordered her to lie down.
She set down her belongings but police say she didn’t “immediately” lie down — so the officer forced her to the ground.
The officer then allegedly kicked the woman in the back and his dog bit the woman.
After the woman was arrested, police realized she was the victim of a licence plate swap — thieves had swapped plates from a stolen vehicle with her plates, likely a similar-looking parked car, to avoid detection.
Police said it was legal to arrest her to investigate the stolen plates, but an internal investigation and review by the Edmonton Crown prosecutor determined criminal charges were appropriate due to the officer’s use of force.
Const. Keegan Metz, a 12-year member of the Calgary Police Service, has been charged with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm. He’s been taken off the police canine unit, and is suspended with pay. Police say his pay and status will be reviewed as the case goes forward.
Police said they reached out to the victim as soon as they became aware of the incident, and that she’s been offered victim support resources.