Family awarded $100,000 after ‘egregious conduct’ by Winnipeg Police officer
A Winnipeg family has been awarded more than $100,000 in damages after what a Manitoba judge called ‘egregious conduct’ by a City of Winnipeg police officer.
According to the judgement handed down by Justice Jeff Harris, Ola and Andrew Beaulieu took their two teenage children, along with a family friend, to the Clarion Hotel as a late Christmas gift on Dec. 26, 2014.
WATCH: $100,000 in damages awarded after what a judge called ‘egregious conduct’ by a City of Winnipeg police officer.
After a noise complaint, four Winnipeg Police Service officers entered the family’s room without a warrant, and, according to the judgement, without justifiable cause.
Once the officers were inside the room, a dispute erupted. Police told the courtroom they were sworn at and assaulted by family members, and the family said their daughter was pushed by a police officer, identified as Cst. J. Macumber, when she and her friend tried to record the happenings on their phone and tablet.
When the parents tried to intervene, the court heard, they were punched and then arrested.
A judge in a civil suit sided with the family and said police had no right to enter the hotel room without cause, and once inside, the officer was not justified in punching the parents during their arrest.
Video provided to the court showed the events of the night were different from the officers’ sworn testimony, said the judge.
WATCH: Video of police unlawfully entering the hotel room
The conduct of the WPS officers “departs markedly from ordinary standards of decency,” wrote the judge.
“The WPS officers entered the plaintiffs’ hotel room without lawful reason and with that knowledge ‘back-filled’ a story both in the report and before this court in an attempt to justify their egregious conduct. Once in the room, the conduct was malicious and high-landed.
“It offends the court’s sense of decency and must be deterred and punished.”
The family was awarded more than $100,000 in punitive and general damages.
The provincial police watchdog, the IIU, is now investigating.
“On May 30, 2019, WPS notified the IIU of the circumstances outlined in a written judgment from the Court of Queen’s Bench delivered on May 27, 2019,” said the IIU.
“In that judgment … a variety of circumstances were outlined by the trial judge that raised allegations of misleading justice and use of excessive force against a number of WPS officers.”
The Winnipeg Police Service wouldn’t say if the officers were still on active duty, only saying one has since retired since the incident and the other three are still employed with the WPS.
-With files from Heather Steele
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