Lawsuit filed against two Regina police officers
Published Wednesday, July 19, 2017 6:26PM CST
Update: These charges were dropped in December 2018
Two Regina police officers have had a lawsuit filed against them after an alleged incident last year.
"Him and his partner chucked me to the ground about here, left me there for a few minutes, then I was put into a patrol car," said James Escamilla.
In December 2016, Escamilla called a taxi to take him to work around midnight. But on his way from his house to the taxi, he says he was confronted by two police officers.
The entire encounter was caught on his neighbour’s security camera.
"It does help the case a lot, because why would any employer, yet alone a police force want to admit they’re doing something wrong?" said Escamilla.
Escamilla filed a complaint with the Public Complaints Commission, which resulted in one of the officers being charged with assault.
On Tuesday, Escamilla and his lawyer filed a lawsuit for general and punitive damages against both police officers involved in this case, Cpl. Magee and Cpl. Wyatt.
"The reality is policing is a tough job. We don't always get it right,” said Regina Police Chief Evan Bray.
“I'm going to emphasize in this case we haven’t yet been told that we got it wrong. There’s a possibility we did and that's why a process going on."
Tony Merchant is the lawyer representing Escamilla in this case. Merchant said the alleged incident speaks to the need to continue educating police officers about their authority.
"Part of the reason that we seek punitive damages, which would flow back to the Regina Police Service, is because they have to keep vigilantly working with their officers to make sure they don't step over the line," said Merchant.
Cpl. Magee, the officer charged in the case, has his duties reassigned. Bray said a police act investigation will be launched after court to determine his future with the force. The status of the other officer named in the lawsuit, Cpl. Wyatt, is unchanged.
"I'm confident in this work that we do,” said Bray.
“I'm confident in our role within the community. I’m confident in how the community feels about us and we have work to do each and every day at any given moment."