Halifax police officer charged in alleged assault on man at homeless shelter
A Halifax Regional Police officer is facing charges after he allegedly assaulted a man at a homeless shelter in February.
Police contacted Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team on March 4 after receiving information about an alleged assault by a police officer on a man at the Metro Turning Point shelter on Barrington Street.
SIRT says a 54-year-old man sustained facial injuries, including a broken nose, during the alleged altercation on Feb. 25.
SIRT has now charged 37-year-old Const. Laurence Gary Basso with assault causing bodily harm, public mischief, and breach of trust.
“Officer Basso was on duty, there was an injury, there was a report made, and SIRT took over the investigation,” says SIRT’s director, Felix Cacchione.
Halifax Regional Police Const. Carol McIsaac says Basso was placed on administrative duties in March. Now that he has been charged, he will be suspended with pay.
Under the Nova Scotia Police Act, suspended officers must receive pay and allowances for at least 60 days during their suspension. After 60 days, the chief of police can determine whether the suspension will be with or without pay.
“As this is a matter before the courts we are not in a position to comment further,” said McIsaac in a statement.
Basso is due to appear in Halifax provincial court on May 22.
This isn’t the first time Basso has faced criminal charges. He was charged in January 2016 with theft, breach of trust and obstruction of justice after a substance disappeared from a police exhibit locker in 2015.
However, the charges against Basso were dropped in that case.
“Those charges were withdrawn by the Public Prosecution Service,” confirms Cacchione. “He never stood trial on those charges.”
SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, whether or not there is an allegation of wrongdoing.