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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Lawsuit Filed Alleges Brutality By West Grey Police Officers

West Grey | by Matt Hermiz  

Statement of claim details allegations made by Hillier family relating to June 6 incident.

David Hillier. (supplied photo) 

A father and son have filed a civil lawsuit alleging police brutality by two officers with the West Grey Police Service, after dad was left with broken ribs, a collapsed lung and a broken nose following an incident in early June.

Lawyers representing David Hillier and Casey Hillier filed a notice of action with the Superior Court of Justice in Kitchener on June 22, with the West Grey Police Services Board and two West Grey Police officers listed as defendants. 

The filing includes a statement of claim that alleges the police officers used "outrageous and excessive force" in the arrest of the two men at Casey Hillier's residence near Chesley. West Grey Police were called to the residence on Concession 14 NDR around 2 a.m. June 6 for a domestic dispute.

The court filing claims David Hillier, 68, suffered very serious injuries including multiple broken rubs, a collapsed lung, a broken nose and widespread bruising after being tasered and struck "approximately 20 times" with a baton by one of the police officers.

The plaintiffs say Hillier was first taken to the West Grey Police Station in Durham, before being moved by ambulance to a South Bruce Grey Health Centre hospital and then transferred by helicopter to Victoria Hospital in London. He remains in serious condition.

The elder Hillier has not been charged by police with any offence. According to the claim, he was intervening to try to stop a "brutal assault" against his son Casey.

The plaintiffs allege during Casey's arrest the two officers slammed him into a police cruiser, put him in a headlock, tasered him in the back and "repeatedly struck" him all over his body with a baton. The filing claims Casey was left with injuries including scrapes, welts, bruising and "bleeding from his head".

Casey Hillier was charged by West Grey Police with two counts of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.

None of the allegations made against the West Grey Police officers, nor the criminal charges laid against the younger Hillier have been proven in court.

The incident is being probed by the province's Special Investigation Unit.

West Grey Police put out a press release earlier this month providing brief details on the occurrence.

In the release, West Grey Police say officers were dispatched to a dispute on Concession 14 NDR in the early morning hours of June 6 and an altercation occurred between police and the occupants of the residence resulting in injuries to two police officers and one male party at the residence.

Bayshore Broadcasting News reached out to West Grey Police Chief Rob Martin, who could not offer comment as he says the police service has not been properly served notice of the statement of claim.

As for the incident itself, he says the police service cannot offer any further comment as the SIU has invoked its mandate.

Meantime, according to a press release from Toronto-based Charney Lawyers -- the Hillier family's legal representatives -- a protest will be taking place Thursday evening outside the West Grey Police Service station in Durham to "demand that the officers involved in this incident are held accountable".

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