Delta officers cleared of excessive force allegations

But Police Complaints Commission finds pair entered home without warrant.

Two Delta Police officers have been cleared of allegations they used excessive force when arresting a Surrey teen three-and-a-half years ago.

But a public hearing by the Police Complaints Commissioner did find the pair of officers entered a Surrey home without a warrant and arrested the youth without lawful authority.

The hearing was held in February and a decision released in July.

Police were called to Delview Secondary on Jan. 28, 2008 after someone reported a fight had broken out and a gun was involved.

DPD Constables Sukhprit Sidhu and Steve Wilson were among several officers who responded to the call. Sidhu had been on the force for three years at the time, while Wilson was still in training and being supervised by Sidhu.

Students at the school had been ordered to the ground and all complied, except two, who were yelling obscenities and being uncooperative. Wilson arrested one of the men, and he and Sidhu ended up taking the youth home to be released into the custody of his mother.

Once, home, he continued to yell and scream, but was finally allowed to go into his house after agreeing to calm down. Once inside, however, the obnoxious behaviour continued out a window, with the teen shouting: “You f___ing pig, better watch your back…”

Sidhu and Wilson went into the house, entered the boy’s room and told him he was under arrest. He was uncooperative, and they handcuffed him and took him to the police car.

The teen suffered a cut above his eyebrow being placed in the car. His mom also claimed the officers shoved her when they entered the house and that she flew into a bookcase and was injured.

While Wilson was “obliged to deal forcefully” with the rude and uncooperative teen due to his inexperience, reads the written hearing decision, he did not use excessive force. Testimony about the mom’s alleged rough treatment was confusing and contradictory, said the hearing adjudicator, and could not be substantiated.

As for entering the home unlawfully and arresting the youth, the adjudicator said the officers were not in “hot pursuit” and were therefore unjustified.

“[The teen] was in the privacy of his own bedroom and there was no indication whatsoever that he was going to flee at any time.”

Sidhu and Wilson were ordered to take training with regard to search and seizure, entry into a private residence, the powers of arrest and when a warrant is required. They must also attend counseling to deal with stressful job situations.

The adjudicator said there is no likelihood of future misconduct by either officer.

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

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