Campus responds to ‘disgusting act’ by former student
by Bryan Weismiller
Video footage of a former Mount Royal student has drawn a huge response from people all across Canada. Const. Geoff Mantler, a three-year RCMP officer and MRC business diploma graduate, was caught on camera kicking 51-year-old suspect Buddy Tavares in the face. Tavares, who had previously suffered a brain injury, was lying prone when the kick happened.
Kelly Hayes, a local reporter, recorded the incident on his iPhone. Since then, the video has received thousands of views on YouTube and it’s been rebroadcast on cable news networks across the country.
“I just see that as a classic example of unprofessional police work,” said Rolland Lahaye, a justice studies professor at Mount Royal. “It was disgusting.”
Lahaye added: “It really comes down to being a professional and what I saw on that video tape was not professional in any way at all. I’m terribly disappointed that we’d have a police officer anywhere in Canada who felt like they need to use that type of approach in dealing with an offender.”
According to Lahaye, Mount Royal justice studies students are taught about using force from the very first semester on.
Prior to graduating high school, Mantler took a week-long RCMP training course at the Vernon Army Camp in 2001. He also completed the standard RCMP training program in Regina. However, Mantler’s career path raises the question of why he didn’t attend justice studies training during his time at Mount Royal.
“[Law enforcement officers] have an image to uphold with the community,” said Maria Fulginiti, a justice studies student. “If they’re putting out a bad image then nobody’s going to trust them.”