/Officer guilty of tasering innocent driver during Fremantle random breath test

Officer guilty of tasering innocent driver during Fremantle random breath test

Updated

May 15, 2019 16:56:50

A Perth police officer has been found guilty of unlawfully tasering a motorist during a roadside breath test in Fremantle two years ago.

Senior Constable Grantley James Keenan’s conduct on the night of March 31, 2017, became the subject of a Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) investigation, after he was cleared of any wrongdoing by three earlier internal police investigations.

The motorist, James Bartlett, had been driving to a restaurant with his wife and a friend when he was pulled over by police on Beach Street.

A random breath test detected no alcohol in his system.

But he was issued with a vehicle defect notice for modifications he had made to his Jeep Wrangler.

The court heard once Mr Bartlett had passed the breath test he had flashed his lights, causing Senior Constable Keenan to approach his car and try to remove the keys from the ignition.

A mobile phone video taken by his passenger showed Mr Bartlett then being tasered as he sat in the driver’s seat with his seatbelt on.

Prosecutors may push for jail term

Keenan was charged with two counts of common assault.

He admitted to tasering the man but denied it was unlawful.

But he was convicted after a two-day trial in the Perth Magistrates Court, and was released on bail until he is sentenced in June.

Prosecutors said they may argue for a jail term — although it could be suspended — while Keenan’s lawyer, Terry Dobson, said he would be submitting that a fine would be the appropriate penalty.

Keenan made no comment as he left court after the verdict.

Topics:

police,

law-crime-and-justice,

perth-6000,

fremantle-6160,

wa

First posted

May 15, 2019 16:27:28