Officer charged

Ottawa police officer facing disciplinary charges for second time

Andrew Seymour, Ottawa Citizen

Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2007

An Ottawa police officer is accused of using unnecessary force after allegedly striking a man twice in the head with a baton.

The alleged incident, involving Ottawa police Const. Umer Khan, occurred only 16 days after he allegedly challenged the man to a fight while off-duty.

According to the charge sheet from a disciplinary hearing Tuesday morning, Const. Khan challenged Stephane Payant to a fight while off-duty on Dec. 11, 2005 before threatening him by saying "me and my boys in blue are going to roll on you one day."

Umer Khan is accused of striking a man twice in the head with a baton.

Rod MacIvor, The Ottawa Citizen


Then, on Dec. 27, 2005, Const. Khan is accused of twice striking Mr. Payant in the head with his ASP, or retractable baton, while on duty.

Const. Khan is now facing charges of discreditable conduct and unlawful or unnecessary use of authority under the Police Services Act.
No criminal charges have been laid.

This is the second time Const. Khan has faced Police Services Act charges.

In March, he was sentenced to forfeit three days' pay after pleading guilty to three disciplinary charges in relation to three incidents between October 2005 and February 2006 while he was both on and off duty.

During the hearing into the previous charges, Const. Khan revealed he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder after surviving a scary incident in which a suspect pointed a gun in his face and twice pulled the trigger.

His lawyer, Al O'Brien, explained how his client had become "more irritable and more aggressive" toward co-workers and the public in the months following an incident at a downtown strip club in May 2005 in which a suspect pulled a loaded gun on him and twice pulled the trigger.

The gun did not go off, however, and despite encouragement by his superiors to take as much time off as he needed, Const. Khan decided to return to work after only a few days off, Mr. O'Brien said.

It wasn't until after several public complaints were made over a three-month period that Const. Khan recognized he had a problem and voluntarily sought counselling, Mr. O'Brien said.

After being off work for eight months and receiving counselling, Const. Khan has since been diagnosed and received treatment for post traumatic stress disorder, Mr. O'Brien said.
In a somewhat unusual move, Const. Khan apologized to one of the people who filed a complaint against him during the hearing.

Christine Richer had complained to police that Const. Khan's comments and demeanour at the Vanier drop-in centre where she works were "intimidating" and "inappropriate" after they called police for help dealing with a young person who had threatened the staff.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Const. Khan suggested to Ms. Richer and staff at the drop-in centre to "go after" the youth with hockey sticks should he return with a baseball bat.
He also told Ms. Richer he thought the youth at the drop-in centre didn't respect her and they should shut the place down.

"Whatever I said, I was wrong," he told Ms. Richer. "I am sorry. I didn't mean to upset you or your colleagues."

Ottawa Citizen 2007