Sunday, March 22, 2009

Excessive force by Police in Victoria alleged

Times Colonist March 20, 2009

Two Victoria police officers are being investigated amid accusations they used excessive force during an arrest.

Mike Stebih of Saanich filed a complaint with police and is suing the officers and the city for false arrest, false imprison- ment and assault, said his lawyer Doug Christie.

Stebih was arrested for obstruction of justice last year when he refused to produce identification after being stopped driving a van by two plainclothes officers in an unmarked car. He demanded they show their badges to prove they were in fact police officers, but Stebih still would not hand over his identification.

The officers, a man and a woman, used force to get Stebih from his vehicle, cuffed him and searched the van, not knowing the man was recording their "salty language" during the search, said Graham.

Stebih produced the recording in court.

It revealed the testimony of one of the officers, Const. John Musicco, was inconsistent with what was recorded.

Police Chief Jamie Graham said the police department is looking into the officers' conduct.
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