3 men file complaint against RCMP after raid
Published Tuesday, May 5, 2009 8:31AM PDT
Three British Columbia men are calling for an investigation, alleging that they were beaten by RCMP officers and bitten by a police dog during a raid on an apartment in Surrey last year.
Emad Hovaizavi, Mohammed Bosir and Seyedmorteza Ghadiriasli said in a complaint filed against the RCMP that they were "having a conversation over a cup of tea" in Mr. Hovaizavi's apartment in November 2008 when members of a police Emergency Response Team broke down the door.
After the men were allegedly ordered to get down on the floor, the complaint says a police dog allegedly entered the apartment and dragged Mr. Hovaizavi into the hall where he was beaten by heavily armed police officers who kicked him in the ribs and back.
The other two were also dragged out and beaten, according to the complaint which says the police did not have a warrant to enter the apartment.
The complainants say they have learned that police had warrants to enter apartment units 201 and 206 of the same building. But the three men were located in unit 205.
The victims do not have criminal records or any previous dealings with the RCMP, the complaint said.
No one has been charged in connection with the incident.
Craig Costantino, a lawyer retained by the three men, said RCMP Superintendent Wayne Rideout has confirmed that police did not have a warrant to enter unit 205.
Supt. Rideout said in a letter to Costantino that an Independent Officer Review has been ordered, and is currently still under investigation.
In a press release sent out Monday afternoon Surrey RCMP say they have apologized to "three individuals who were mistakenly arrested and injured" during the raid.
Cpl. Peter Thiessen said officers knew they had entered the wrong apartment as soon as the men were taken into custody, and the ERT team leader immediately apologized.
In addition, the force provided a care home nurse and transportation to medical appointments after the injuries. They also repaired the apartment.