A provincial court judge has convicted a Saskatoon woman of assault and theft at a FreshCo grocery store in April 2021.
A viral video of the confrontation between Annette Custer and a loss-prevention officer was widely condemned by Indigenous leaders.
Custer’s lawyer attempted to have the charges thrown out, alleging the loss-prevention officer used excessive force during her arrest.
However, provincial court judge Doug Agnew rejected those claims, ruling Custer was already under arrest and was resisting.
He added that Custer admitted at trial in May 2022 to intentionally going to the store that day to steal food.
Custer punched the loss-prevention officer claiming self-defense, but Agnew ruled the loss-prevention officer’s force was reasonable at the time.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations would come to the defense of Custer, from the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation calling for charges to be laid against the loss-prevention officer and provincial-wide strategy and education.
Custer will return to court in September for sentencing.