Police Gone Wrong

Posted on February 8th, 2012 by Centennial Law in Policing

In Canada, most of us like our police officers.  When we need help, we don't hesitate to call upon them.  Canadians proudly send their police officers to less fortunate countries so that our police officers can help other countries establish police forces of their own which will serve their countries following the Canadian model.

Maybe you've been in other countries where police misconduct is accepted with a shrug of the shoulders; where police misconduct is the norm.  In Canada, we don't accept police misconduct.  The case of Elliot v. Waterloo (Regional Municipality) Police Services ([2011] OJ No. 5199, Ont. SCJ) is a good example.

In the Elliot case, Mr. Elliot had a cousin who was a member of a gang.  The police received a tip suggesting that Mr. Elliot’s cousin was storing weapons in Mr. Elliot’s home.  Most of us probably believe that what happened next is not typical of those who serve in Canadian police forces.

In the Elliot case, the police raided Mr. Elliot's home.  They did this in spite of the fact that the “bad” cousin was already in jail.  They gave misleading information to the Justice of the Peace when they obtained their search warrant.  They broke into Mr. Elliot's home with a battering ram.  They threw flash grenades.  They conducted a search of his car and his computer.  They didn’t find any weapons but they took Mr. Elliot to the police station for several hours anyway.  Mr. Elliot has no criminal record.  The evidence before the Court was that he helps his neighbours cut their grass and trim their hedges and shovel their snow.  In the face of his treatment by the police, he was upset.  He sued.  And he won.  He was awarded damages of $32,000 by the Court.


Article written by Centennial Law Corp. (Douglas E. Dent)

The specific facts of any real life situation can have many unforeseen legal implications. As a result, please note that the general information found in the above article should not be treated as legal advice.