Punched Cyclist Wants Indo-Canadian VPD Officer Fired As Trial Begins

Const. Ismail Bhabha Pleads Not Guilty For Punching  Cyclist!

West Vancouver Police conducted an independent investigation and in September recommended Const. Ismail Bhabha be charged with assault.

VANCOUVER – The trial of an Indo-Canadian Vancouver police officer accused of punching a cyclist in the face opened Wednesday with testimony from his alleged victim.

The turbaned Sikh Const. Ismail Bhabha and another officer stopped cyclist Andishae Akhavan-Kharazi for running a red light and riding without a helmet in Yaletown in March 2013.

Akhavan-Kharazi told Vancouver provincial court he said it was “bulls***” that officers were giving him a ticket and they placed him under arrest, reported CTV.

He testified that when his arm was twisted behind his back, he turned his head and was punched, leaving him with a chipped tooth, a cut lip and injuries to his neck and jaw.

The confrontation was filmed by a bystander and the footage, which sparked outrage on YouTube, was aired repeatedly in court Wednesday.

It appears to show Bhabha striking the cyclist, who asks “Why did you punch me?”

“Because you was resisting,” Bhabha replies. “I was trying to put my cuffs on you and you pulled your arm away.”

The Office of the Police Complaints Commission ordered an external investigation into the YouTube video weeks after the arrest, and Bhabha was charged with one count of assault in September.

Bhabha has pleaded not guilty.

The incident provoked outrage online when a video taken by Kharazi’s friend, Mike Schwarz, was posted on Facebook.

At Bhabha’s trial on Wednesday morning, Kharazi testified he did not recall running any lights on his bike and said he normally stops for lights.

He also testified he never resisted arrest or raised his voice, and only moved his arms involuntarily when the officer twisted his arms behind his back while attempting to handcuff him.

Police have said the video captured only part of the incident and that Kharazi was “allegedly confrontational with police,” and “escalated the situation.”

West Vancouver Police conducted an independent investigation and in September recommended Bhabha be charged with assault.

The trial is expected to last three days.

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