A man has filed a complaint against Saskatoon police saying he was picked up by two officers and dropped off outside city limits at night in the cold.
Ken Thomas, who is a marathon runner, said he stepped out of a bar on Saturday night to have a cigarette after attending a concert.
He said two police officers came by who said he fit the description of someone who had been digging into vehicles.
Thomas said he was detained and then driven south of the city where he was dropped off.
He said he ran back home to keep warm.
The Saskatoon Police Service said that it is aware a complaint has been filed with Saskatchewan’s Public Complaints Commission and considers such an allegation to be serious.
Thomas said he was humiliated and the experience has shaken his faith in the justice system.
“They detained me and drove me to the outskirts of town and drop me off and laughed as they drove away and then I ran home,” he wrote in a post on his Facebook page.
“I don’t know why they would even drive me out there. That being said, my faith in the justice system is shaken and I wouldn’t want that to happen to anybody else.”
Thomas competes in annual events such as the Summit Run in Prince Albert, Sask., and the Frank Dunn Triathlon. He also coaches for the Saskatoon Tribal Council.
Thomas said he never attempted to resist arrest or argue with the officers out of fear of being charged and possibly risking his opportunity to coach.
“I talk to youth who have negative feelings about police, and as a leader you are supposed to say everything is going to be OK, it’s a phase, but now what am I supposed to tell them?”
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John Clarke, the commission’s director, said the organization has received an online complaint from Thomas and is trying to arrange to have him interviewed by an investigator.
The commission investigates and reviews complaints against municipal police and reports to the province’s Justice Ministry.
The Saskatoon Police Service said it will co-operate fully with the investigation.
“Part of that investigation will include the review of GPS logs that track the location of patrol vehicles at any given time, as well as the in-car camera video which is automatically activated when the back door of a patrol car is opened,” police said in a statement.
In 1990, the frozen body of 17-year-old Neil Stonechild was found outside Saskatoon city limits.
An RCMP inquiry into Stonechild’s death showed the teen was in police custody before he died. Two officers involved were fired following the inquiry.