Five Victoria police officers named in civil lawsuit

Three men accuse Victoria police of wrongful arrest

A Victoria lawyer is suing five VicPD officers alleging excessive force, wrongful arrest and malicious prosecution.

Lawyer Rajinder Singh Sahota is also a plaintiff in a civil suit filed Tuesday. He is named alongside Matthew Reginald Gower Wenman and Inderdeep Singh Hundal.

All three men had a run-in with Victoria police officers on Aug. 9, 2010, after leaving Darcy’s Pub. In their petition to the court, the latter two plaintiffs say officers hit them both and pepper sprayed Wenman needlessly, then arrested them wrongfully.

They name constables Clark Dumont, Joseph Bryan Milkowski, Marty Steen, Rebecca Pollock and Jessica McLeod as the offending officers.

None of the allegations have yet been proven in court.

Wenman and Hundal are each charged with obstructing a peace officer and Wenman is also charged with assaulting a police officer.

“(The) three men were drunk and causing a disturbance,” police spokesman Sgt. Grant Hamilton said. “An officer responded and when he attempted to arrest one of the men, an altercation occurred.”

The three men were notified they could file a complaint with the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, but decided against doing so.

Sahota said Victoria police officers seem to feel superior to citizens.

“This is the only place I’ve lived – and I’ve lived in a lot of cities – where police misconduct seems to come up again and again,” Sahota told the News.

“It’s something that’s been in the press and been in the media, and if you speak to … younger people they can corroborate they have been targeted unfairly.”

He added he believes the public is “frustrated” by the lack of independent oversight of police.

The three men are seeking damages for pain and suffering, loss of work due to injury, among other things. The amount won’t be known until all documents are submitted.

The defendants, including the City of Victoria, their employer, have three weeks to file responses.

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