Class action lawsuit launched against High River RCMP over gun seizures
CALGARY – A High River couple has launched a class action lawsuit against RCMP over the seizure of guns in the southern Alberta town during a devastating flood two years ago.
Jane and Donald White say RCMP broken into their home on June 24th, 2013, taking eleven registered weapons which were locked in a gun safe.
“The door was completely destroyed,” laments Jane White. “The bolt from the door was sitting halfway up the stairs on a landing. There was a large amount of mud brought into my home, taken up the stairway on my new carpet. It was on my beds, it was on my jewelry boxes, it was in my closet. There were footprints in my kitchen around by the sink, over around by the dining room area. And when they took the guns they did damage to the walls… left dents and black marks.”
“I was rather angry,” said Doug White. “I was rather angry that somebody can come into your house and steal your property.”
The legal action comes on the heels of a new report released on Thursday which slams RCMP for their actions.
The report from the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission says Mounties improperly took guns from flood-stricken homes, and blames the mistakes on poor leadership, lack of guidance and failure to communicate with the public.
“We think that the report substantiates what we believed had happened all along” says Clint Docken of Docken Klym, the Calgary-based law firm handling the suit. “Out of an abundance of caution we waited until the release of the report, because we knew it was under review.”
Klym outlined the overall goal of the lawsuit.
“We’re just looking for some accountability. The RCMP have provided some compensation to homeowners for damages associated with the searches, but there hasn’t been any compensation associated with what we say were illegal seizures.”
“I hate that it’s about guns,” said Doug. “My feeling is that when somebody kicks your door down for no reason, and steals any of your property out of your house, and wanders through your house… I just feel like we were violated.”