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Nine RCMP members named in Terrace assault suit

NINE POLICE officers have now been named in a civil lawsuit that alleges they assaulted a young man here twice last summer.

In an amended notice of claim Feb. 2, Terrance Hudson, lawyer for alleged victim Shane Parker, changed the defendants from being “John Does” to naming Const. Issac Couture, Corporal Travis De Coene, Const. Brian Heideman and Const. Stu Egers.

RCMP members Chad King, Robert Hull, Trevor Mack, Kendra Felkar and Richard McRae were also named but their ranks were not immediately available.

When the original notice of claim was filed last November, Hudson did not have the defendants' names.

Since then, Hudson said he received the names from Prince George lawyer Andrew Kemp who is acting for the officers and thereby amended the notice.

After the original notice of claim was served on police, a reply was supposed to be sent back within 21 days, but wasn't.

Hudson said Parker consented to waive the requirement to file a statement of defence until the individual defendants were served.

Otherwise, without the waiver, the defendants would have had to file a defence or face a default judgment, said Hudson.

The officers have now requested they be able to reply once all of them have been served with the document, said Hudson.

The civil notice of claim alleges that officers assaulted Parker when he asked why they were arresting a woman outside the Spirit Night Club last June and again when he asked why a man was being arrested outside the same club last August.

The officers' actions “were harsh, vindictive, reprehensible, and malicious in nature and were intended to cause harm and injury to [Parker], and did cause injury and harm,” the notice states.

The notice of claim states Parker, who is gay, alleges the officers “acted with malice” by discriminating against the plaintiff on the basis of his sexuality and/or sexual orientation, and attempting to intimidate and coerce Parker into silence.

The alleged assault and battery on Parker caused “concussion; strangulation with associated injury to the brain and eyes; multiple contusions, abrasions, and lacerations; soft tissue injuries to the neck, torso and limbs; headaches; nausea; dizziness; and depression, anxiety, loss of self esteem, self confidence, and post traumatic stress disorder;...” the claim says.

The officers tortured Parker “by discharging [pepper spray] and leaving [Parker] secured in a closed police cruiser where he was continuously exposed to said spray when they knew, or ought to have known, that said exposure was harmful and injurious” to Parker, the notice of claim continues.

Crown prosecutors approved criminal charges of assaulting a peace officer and willfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer against Parker Jan. 21.

The notice of claim states that officers recommended charges against Parker and “acted without reasonable and probable cause and lacked an honest belief in the guilt of [Parker]....”

Court dates for Parker to face the criminal charges against him are scheduled for next week.

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