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Man suing 2 Regina police officers for alleged assault

Man suing 2 Regina police officers for alleged assault
A Regina man is suing two members of the Regina Police Service for injuries relating to an alleged assault stemming from an incident back in December. As Christa Dao explains, the lawsuit comes just weeks after one of the men named in that suit was charged with assault relating to that same event.

A Regina man has filed a lawsuit against two members of the Regina Police Service for his injuries, relating to an alleged assault back in December 2016.

In the Statement of Claim filed Tuesday, the plaintiff, 25-year-old James Escamilla alleged Cpl. Colin Magee and Cpl. Steve Wyatt “slammed him to the ground” and assaulted him by “kneeing him in the hips and back”.

The allegations listed in the claim have not been proven in court.

Escamilla was heading to work for his overnight shift at the Salvation Army when he was stopped by police.

The man claims he was asked to show identification to prove the “legitimacy of his residence”.

“Without warning and moving quickly and abruptly, Corporal Magee attempted to take the ID out of the Plaintiff’s hand without asking”, the claim read.

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“He just decided, like a school yard bully, to grab my ID… I was startled,” Escamilla told Global News.

“I’m being chucked to the ground and everybody is coming around, and I’m like what is going on?” he recalled.

“They both assaulted me. They both hurt me and my knee is still messed up.”

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READ MORE: Regina Police officer facing an assault charge

Officers were investigating auto thefts in the area, police said during a press conference from July 5. Escamilla was never charged with auto theft, or anything relating to that.

The alleged incident was captured on video from a neighbour’s security camera.

RAW VIDEO:

RAW VIDEO: Man suing 2 Regina police officers for alleged assault
RAW VIDEO: Man suing 2 Regina police officers for alleged assault

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this raw video was edited for time, above is the raw video of the alleged incident.

The plaintiff is being represented by Regina lawyer Tony Merchant, who called the alleged incident “over the top”.

“What the police do is difficult, sometimes they make mistakes… The only way society corrects that is through the court system to try to retrain or help the police force to understand that this kind of thing is unacceptable,” he said.

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“We hope [this will] be addressed by the court, saying ‘this is wrong’, he said.

Magee had also been charged with assault under the Criminal Code after a complaint was made, alleging Magee had used excessive force from that same December incident.

Regina police chief Evan Bray said Magee was reassigned to administrative duties following the assault charge.

“One of the members of the Regina police has been charged with assault as a result of an investigation by the Saskatchewan Public Complaints Commission,” Bray said on July 5.

Escamilla is seeking punitive damages for his injuries. He said he wants to see the legal process through.

“I just want to see, maybe at the end of the day, cops learning to ask the right questions,” he said.

Both Magee and Wyatt have been members of the Regina Police service for more than 10 years. Wyatt remains an active member of the Regina Police service.

Regina police declined to comment on the matter.