The disciplinary hearing for a Hamilton police constable accused of arbitrarily stopping a black city councillor continues Thursday, where for the first time the public will hear the officer’s detailed defence.
Const. Andrew Pfeifer is facing a discreditable conduct charge under the Police Services Act in connection with Ward 3 Coun. Matthew Green’s complaint about being stopped while he waited for a bus April 26, 2016.
During opening submissions Green’s lawyer Wade Poziomka, called on hearing officer Terence Kelly to not only find the encounter was an arbitrary stop, but also a case of “racial profiling.”
Green previously testified that the officer aggressively questioned him, making him feel “psychologically detained.”
One witness who drove past the encounter said there was something “very off” about it and described the officer as “not friendly.”
During cross-examination Pfeifer’s lawery, Bernard Cummins, has highlighted some details of the defence, including the assertion that Pfeifer was stopped because he was concerned for Green’s well being.
Both Pfeifer and another officer who was stopped behind him on Stinson Street, near Victoria Avenue South, that day are expected to say it was Green who was aggressive and that the first question the officer asked was, “how are you.”
Green contends that was the last question asked, and only after the officer realized he was a city councillor. He denies being aggressive and says he was simply waiting for a bus in an area sheltered from the wind that day, checking work emails on his phone.
Two witnesses previously told the hearing Green did not look distressed.
The often tense hearing has had Green accusing the defence lawyer of being aggressive and the lawyer accusing Green of not answering questions.
The hearing is taking place at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel and is also scheduled to continue Friday.
Source: The Hamilton Spectator