It seems Kelowna RCMP Const. Geoff Mantler is the victim of bad timing. Had he been caught on video kicking Buddy Tavares in the head during an arrest a couple of years ago, he might have been able to avoid suffering much more than a slap on the wrist.
But these days public confidence in police and especially the RCMP, is an all-time low. As a result, outrage at what Const. Mantler is alleged to have done has been pouring out and RCMP brass have moved surprisingly quickly to deal with the situation. Const. Mantler was immediately moved to administrative duties after the incident and was suspended -albeit with pay- a few days later. And it took only just over a week for outside investigators to recommend charges be brought against him – a few years ago the investigation could have quite possible dragged on for months. As I talked about in my latest Globe and Mail story on this case, the announcement came just before a rally protesting Const. Mantler’s action was set to begin.
I expect crown prosecutors to make a decision on the charges sometime this week and Kelowna RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon suggested Saturday that his superiors could decide to suspend Const. Mantler without pay some time this week as well.
Our top cops seem to have finally figured out that it hurts the reputation of all police when they protect officers who the public believes have done bad things. And that new found awareness likely means bad news for Const. Mantler.