Family Files $5 Million Damages Suit Against Police
TORONTO, Nov. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - The family of a 21-year-old Toronto man has filed a lawsuit against Toronto police, alleging he was violently assaulted by several officers during a mistaken arrest at a west end parking lot that was videotaped by a bystander.
"This young man did nothing wrong. He posed no threat to anyone," said Michael Smitiuch, of Smitiuch Injury Law PC, one of the lawyers representing the Bola family. "We believe the video shows an appalling lack of judgment and excessive police force that cannot be justified under any circumstances."
On November 1st, 2015 at about 8:00 a.m., 21-year-old Santokh Bola was on his way to the family store, India Bazaar, to help his grandfather. He was getting out of his car at a parking lot at 2645 Islington Avenue, when two officers approached him at gunpoint. It's alleged that officers, acting on information about an attempted burglary in the area, pinned Bola to the ground, delivering a series of kicks, knee strikes and punches to his face, head and body. He pleaded with officers to speak with his grandfather. Bola was treated at Etobicoke General Hospital for serious head injuries, emotional trauma and lacerations and abrasions to the face.
Smitiuch alleges in the Statement of Claim that the four arresting officers failed to follow procedure, that they violently assaulted Santokh Bola, applying excessive force without reasonable or probable grounds. It's also alleged that officers failed to recognize that Bola has an intellectual disability and act accordingly. No charges were laid against Bola, who was eventually released from police custody.
"Video has become a powerful tool in holding police accountable," said Ken Byers, of Daley, Byers Criminal Lawyers, co-counsel for the Bola family. "Thanks to a bystander who recorded this disturbing incident, we're able to see what happens when those in a position of trust cross the line."
The video is available at: http://tinyurl.com/SILYouTubeChannel
SOURCE Smitiuch Injury Law Professional Corporation
For further information: Michael Smitiuch, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-621-1551; Ken Byers, email@example.com, 416-864-0246; Danna O'Brien, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-500-0699