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Trial set to begin of Niagara police officer shot 10 times by fellow officer

A Niagara Region police officer charged with assault with a weapon is scheduled to go on trial Monday — despite being shot by a fellow officer in the altercation.

Const. Nathan Parker’s trial before a judge in the Ontario Court of Justice begins at 10 a.m. in Hamilton.

He was charged after an unusual daylight altercation between two Niagara Region police officers on Nov. 29, 2018.

Parker, 55, was part of a team investigating a crash in the rural intersection of Roland Road and Effingham Street in Pelham, Ont., about 20 kilometres west of Niagara Falls. The team included Det. Sgt. Shane Donovan, who headed the collision reconstruction unit.

Parker’s job was to direct motorists to an alternate route. In a $2.5-million lawsuit against Parker, the Niagara Regional Police Service and Niagara police board, Donovan alleges that Parker left his post without permission. Parker’s fiancée previously told CBC News that he was leaving to use the restroom and tried to get permission, but he didn’t get a response.

When Parker returned, the lawsuit claims, Donovan confronted Parker about leaving his post. That led to an altercation during which Donovan shot Parker 10 times in what Donovan says was self-defence.

One of the bullets grazed Parker’s nose. Others hit his leg, shoulder and stomach. Parker was rushed to hospital in serious condition.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit initially charged Donovan with attempted murder, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in connection with the shooting. The Crown dropped those charges, saying there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.

trial set to begin of niagara police officer shot 10 times by fellow officer
Niagara Region police officers were investigating a crash in Pelham, Ont., when the altercation occurred on Nov. 29, 2018. (Samantha Craggs/CBC)

Parker was charged with assault with a weapon for his part in the altercation.

His career has included four disciplinary hearings following complaints from members of the public that he was unnecessarily violent. Three have resulted in convictions under the Police Services Act.

His trial was initially supposed to take place in St. Catharines, Ont., but it has been moved to Hamilton.

Toronto lawyers Joseph Markson and Kate Robertson are representing Parker, while the Crown Law Office in Toronto is handling the prosecution.

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