Video obtained by APTN News shows an unarmed man being repeatedly beaten and shot with conducted energy weapons by Ontario Provincial Police in the early morning hours of July 10, 2022, in Mactier, Ont., about 200 km north of Toronto.
Richard Morgan spent several days in the intensive care unit suffering from a brain injury, broken ribs and punctured a lung that collapsed, according to court records obtained by APTN.
Morgan, who also had lacerations all over his body, was charged with assault and resisting arrest, as well as mischief and trespassing.
What OPP Const. Scott Anthony, and fellow officer Const. Ethan Meyer, apparently didn’t know was that the entire incident with Morgan was caught on surveillance video at the local hardware store, which contradicted the officers’ version of events.
This video assisted the Special Investigations Unit, which charged Anthony with assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon on Dec. 10, 2022.
The charges against Morgan were withdrawn by the Crown on Dec. 13, as first reported by Muskokaregion.com reporter, Sarah Bissonette.
This is what Morgan’s lawyer said in court the day the Crown withdrew charges:
“These officers lied in their notes, to their superiors, to the hospital staff trying to assist Mr. Morgan and eventually to the media in their news release.”
Anthony pled not guilty to the charges and a trial is scheduled for next April and May in Midland, Ont.
In the video, Morgan is seen shirtless and reading a community bulletin board for several minutes just before 3:30 a.m.
Anthony, who is responding to a report of a nearby break and enter at the Canadian Pacific Railway, arrives alone and approaches Morgan.
They appear to exchange words, but the video doesn’t have audio, so we can’t make out what is being said.
Anthony quickly points his conducted energy weapon (Taser) at Morgan who kneels down and raises his hands behind his head.
Forty seconds later, Anthony shoots Morgan with the weapon.
Anthony then appears to kick Morgan in the head.
Morgan convulses with his arms out as the weapon appears to be active for another 20 seconds.
Anthony kicks Morgan again and again.
Morgan then tries to go up the steps of the hardware store, but Anthony runs up and appears to strike him in the face with the weapon.
Anthony continues to try and get control of Morgan but appears to let him up while dropping his weapon.
They exchange words while at a distance of a few feet of each other and Morgan points to his head.
He then tries to use the bulletin board to shield himself from Anthony’s weapon which is again aimed at him.
Morgan then, again, lowers to the ground and puts his hands on his head before Anthony kicks him.
Meyer arrives and it’s not long before he too appears to use his conducted energy weapon on Morgan while standing overtop of him.
Anthony appears to stomp on Morgan and strike him with a closed fist repeatedly
When Morgan appears to finally be handcuffed, the blows end.
Anthony looks tired from it all.
They don’t move Morgan until a woman walks up eight minutes later.
That’s when they drag Morgan to Meyer’s police vehicle and do so by his feet as his upper body drags against the ground.
It’s not the first time Anthony was involved in a beating caught on video.
In fact, a couple weeks earlier, Anthony also beat Ronnie Taylor, a developmentally disabled man who identifies as Métis, on June 21, 2022, in the cellblocks of the OPP’s Bracebridge detachment.
APTN first reported on that video’s existence after being forced to go to court to argue for its release.
Anthony wasn’t charged in Taylor’s beating, but the SIU opened an investigation after APTN’s reporting, which is still ongoing.
While Meyer was never charged by the SIU, Morgan filed what’s known as a private prosecution application and sworn information on Oct. 31 that alleges Meyer assaulted him, obstructed justice and fabricated evidence.
There’s a hearing with a justice of the peace on Dec. 6 who has to approve the private prosecution and, if they do, can appoint a Crown or another lawyer to prosecute Meyer.
“The Criminal Code provides that anyone who has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed can file a private information,” said Jay Herbert, a criminal defence lawyer in Bracebridge, who also represents Taylor.
“Based on the video, which goes on for more than 10 minutes, there is strong evidence that Ethan Meyer joined in the alleged assault that Const. Scott Anthony started, and it is important that a judge review this case and determine if Ethan Meyer committed an assault.”
Meyer is no longer with the OPP.
He’s now an officer with Nishnawbe Aski Police Service and patrolling the Webequie First Nation in northern Ontario.
Meyer couldn’t be reached.
NAPS had this to say.
“I can confirm we are looking into the matter,” said Scott Paradis, NAPS spokesman. “Unfortunately, I cannot provide comment to the specific matters in your inquiry as they involve the officer’s employment with the OPP and an SIU investigation. I can say that we do find the accusations concerning, and take such matters seriously.
“We have a commitment to the communities we serve, including Webequie First Nation, and will address any issues within our service that may prevent us from providing the law enforcement and community safety services they need.”
Leadership for Webequie didn’t respond to calls and emails.