Officers found guilty for abandoning Native man
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After two days of deliberation, an all-white jury in Saskatchewan on Thursday two police officers guilty of abandoning a Native man in the freezing cold.

But while the Canadian government sought a conviction on assault and unlawful confinement charges, the jury only found Saskatoon officers Dan Hatchen and Ken Munson guilty of the latter. Both men were acquitted of the assault charge.

Sentencing is scheduled to take place October 30, although lawyers for the pair said they will push for an appeal. Hatchen and Munson, who were also fired from the Saskatoon police force yesterday, face a maximum penalty of ten years in jail for the unlawful confinement charge.

The case highlighted racial tensions in the province and distrust the Native community feels towards police. For at least ten years, a number of Native men have been found frozen to death on the outskirts of town.

Darrell Night of Salteaux First Nation faced the same fate when Hatchen and Munson arrested him one night in January. But instead of taking Night to a police station, the officers drove him near the edge of town and left him there in sub-zero degree weather.

Night, the officer said, wanted to be let go. And their lawyers argued there is no law preventing police from releasing someone in the middle of nowhere.

But the Canadian government said Night resisted and threatened to report the men if they abandoned him near a spot where another Native man was subsequently found dead.

The jury sided with Night, although not agreeing he had been hurt or assaulted by the officers. After receiving instructions from a judge, the seven men and five women deliberated for several hours on Wednesday.

Deliberations continued for several more hours yesterday.

Relevant Links:
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