Friday, January 08, 2010

Imagine if Police in the US had to pay out like this

Police misconduct, like in the State of Connecticut, might be ten times to one hundred times worse than in Canada. At the Canadian press is printing stories like this:

Teen abused by Canadian police officers gets $60,000. [source]

Sgt Ryan O'Neill and Const Brian Asmussen found to be acting maliciously and are guilty of negligence, misconduct, and the use of excessive force.

It's time these cop beasts are charged criminally to deter other corrupt officers from victimizing the community with the financial and social consequences of their illegal activity.

The property of these two cops should be confiscated to pay More..for this judgement.

Give em a call and tell em what you think: 250 995-7654.

Richard Watts, Times Colonist
Published: Friday, May 16, 2008

Two Victoria police officers used excessive force against a teen in police cells, an eight-person jury ruled yesterday.

In a complicated verdict, the jury awarded a total of $60,000 in compensation for violations of Willow Kinloch's rights when she was detained, handcuffed and tethered in a padded cell.

After the verdict, Kinloch said she holds no hard feelings against the police force. But she said she hopes they now know "that that's not the way to act and that's not the way you treat your community."

Kinloch, now 18, was picked up drunk shortly past midnight on May 7, 2005, in downtown Victoria. She was taken to the Victoria police station, where she spent about one hour screaming and banging on the walls of a cell.

About 4 a.m. two police officers, Acting Sgt. Ryan O'Neill and Const. Brian Asmussen, tried to take her home to an apartment near Cook Street and Pandora Avenue. But the building intercom was broken and the officers refused to allow Kinloch to get out of the car and shout up at a window.

After returning to the station, Kinloch objected to going back into a cell. In an encounter caught on videotape, a jailhouse matron was seen pushing Kinloch against a wall.

O'Neill and Asmussen handcuffed the five-foot, 100-pound Kinloch, bound her at the ankles and tethered her with a strap leading out under the cell door. She was left lying on the floor for four hours until she was released.

Police filed a charge of assault, but the Crown did not proceed on the case.

Kinloch sued the City of Victoria, jailhouse matron Merle Edmonds, O'Neill and Asmussen.

Richard Neary, Kinloch's lawyer, told the jury his client had no concerns with her initial treatment. It was when O'Neill and Asmussen tried to take her home and refused to allow her out of the car that problems began, he said.

At trial's end, the jury, working through questions posed by Supreme Court Justice James Williams, came back with verdicts against the two police officers but clearing the jailhouse matron.

The jury found the two officers violated Kinloch's right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, as guaranteed under Section 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They found the Section 12 violations were the result of malice, negligence or misconduct, and they awarded Kinloch $30,000 in compensation. The jury said the officers' use of excessive force violated Kinloch's right under Section 7 of the charter to life, liberty or security of person. The violation was found to be the result of malice, negligence or misconduct, for which the jury awarded Kinloch an additional $10,000.

The jury found Asmussen and O'Neill violated Kinloch's right, guaranteed under Section 9 of the charter, not to be arbitrarily detained. They said this was the result of no malice or misconduct but still awarded her $20,000, resulting in total compensation of $60,000.

"I knew at the time it wasn't OK, and people kept telling me it was OK, and I knew it wasn't," Kinloch told reporters after the verdict. Now, "I'm just going to live my life and just live," she said.

Her lawyer said the verdict was a sign people need not be treated badly at the hands of police or other authorities.

"This happened even though these people knew they were being videotaped, which I think is pretty scary," Neary said.

It's significant that the jury in the Willow Kinloch lawsuit trial did not award punitive damages, Victoria interim police chief Bill Naughton said.

"I think it is critical to understand that while the jury has found fault on behalf of the officers, they did not find it necessary to punish them by awarding punitive damages, and I think that's very significant," he said.

Asked what would happen to the officers involved, he said he would be in a better position to comment after thoroughly reviewing the jury's comments.

"While it was always our intention to keep Miss Kinloch safe, I do regret the distress the incident has caused Miss Kinloch and her family," Naughton said.

The safety of people in custody is always the department's first priority, he said.

Naughton said he was surprised at the verdict but would not elaborate. He said as soon as he became aware of the incident, he advised the office of the Police Complaint Commissioner and initiated an external investigation now being conducted by the Vancouver Police Department.

He has also ordered a review of policies regarding the restraint of people in custody.

- with a file from Bill Cleverley

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