Vancouver police sued over alleged beating of Indigenous man outside Walmart store

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“Julian Doe had no basis to suspect that the plaintiffs had committed theft or any other criminal activity,” it says. “Julian Doe targeted the plaintiffs without reasonable suspicion and was ostensibly motivated to stop and harass Robertson because of his race and physical appearance.”

Police were called to the scene and, without lawful cause, officers tackled Robertson and restrained him by forcefully putting their knees on the back of his head, neck and legs before repeatedly punching him, says the lawsuit.

Robertson says he suffered a concussion, broken ribs, bruising, cuts, sprains and other soft-tissue damage.

Deneault, a mental health addictions worker who as a result of Robertson’s brain injury has custody of Robertson’s son, says she was forcibly removed from her vehicle, put in handcuffs and told she was under arrest. She claims she suffered an injury to her arm, as well as trauma and humiliation.

The police took statements from Robertson and Deneault and later released them, says the lawsuit. The plaintiffs, who say they were never charged with any crimes, are seeking general, special and aggravated damages.

In an email, police said they responded to reports that a man had spat at a loss prevention officer and had assaulted another loss prevention officer.

The alleged suspect and his mother were “very confrontational” and the man refused to co-operate or answer any questions, say the police.

Officers tried to handcuff him to prevent the aggression from escalating and to arrest him for the alleged assaults, and he continued to yell profanities and refuse to put his hands behind his back, police say.

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