Fisherman slammed to the ground by a police officer now 'considering legal option'

Fisherman was among those blockading Confederation Building, fighting for 'free enterprise'

Fisherman slammed to the ground by a police officer now 'considering legal option'

The fisherman who was left with a broken hip after he participated in a blockade last month is now “considering legal options” against the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC), according to a report.

Richard Martin, 52, was “slammed to the ground by a police officer,” according to a CBC report.

The incident happened on March 20, when hundreds of seafood harvesters were blockading Confederation Building in St. John's, preventing public service workers and politicians from accessing the sprawling complex.

The seafood harvesters were there fighting for what they were calling "free enterprise," or the right to have more say over how they catch, land and sell their seafood. They were calling on political leaders to “loosen the tight grip they asserted seafood processing companies hold over the industry,” according to the CBC report.

Tension escalates at blockade

The action focused on an access point at the rear of the building that was commonly used by politicians and government workers.

Then, two RNC officers on horseback entered into the crowd. Other officers on foot attempted to open a corridor to let government workers into the building. 

Some protesters who were slapping at the horses, and that angered the mounted officers, according to the CBC report.

One RNC officer on horseback yelled: "You're getting charged! You're getting charged! Video. Get him. Make sure you..."

At exactly 8:23 a.m., Martin was “slammed to the ground by a police officer during all the commotion,” said CBC. He was directly in the path being opened by the RNC in order to escort government workers into the building.

The fisherman fell hard onto a concrete curb and fractured the upper portion of his thigh bone, or femur, in three places.

"All I can remember is being bolted, pushed and thrown to the curb," Martin said in the CBC report. "As soon as I hit the curb, I knew it was broke[n]. The leg turned in."

Some fellow protesters helped Martin to a nearby staircase before he was helped onto a stretcher, placed inside an ambulance and taken to hospital.

Martin was overcome with a feeling of disappointment for "being charged from behind … not being warned, not being asked to move, not being informed of any actions of what they were about to take," he told CBC.

He claimed he "would have gladly walked out of the way" if the crowd had been ordered to do so.

"I went there on the intention it was a peaceful protest, and I went there feeling safe," he said.

He was not breaking any laws, he said.

The RNC has not contacted Martin, according to the CBC report.