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Onlookers testify in Mantler trial

Testimony was heard from witnesses at the scene of the incident on Jan. 7, 2012 who say they saw RCMP Cst. Geoff Mantler kick a suspect (Buddy Tavares) in the face.

On Monday, Patricia Richter testified that she was getting gas at the Shell station across the street. She walked towards the scene as it unfolded and testified she saw Tavares down on his knees with his hands up, “that’s when I saw the police officer kick him in the face.”

Earlier she testified that when Mantler first approached Tavares’s vehicle, the doors were locked and he was unable to open it. When Tavares moved to unlock the door, that’s when Mantler yelled something and Tavares raised his hands.

A passing transit bus momentarily obscured Richter’s vision and she did not see Tavares exit the vehicle. Moving to one side, she was able to see Mantler take a few steps towards Tavares before giving him a “swift, quick kick” in the face.

When asked about Tavares’s actions leading up to the kick, Richter testified that "he just seemed stunned,” and was “complying cautiously, trying not to make a wrong move.”

Under cross-examination, Richter says Tavares had his hands up – approximately at shoulder level – and got down one knee at a time and was in that position when the kick was delivered.

Testimony continued Monday afternoon.

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