Tanner Currie alleges excessive force used while in Sudbury police custody

​​A Sudbury, Ont., man claims he was roughed up by a police officer, and ​says ​he's got the video to prove it.

Ontario man wants his day in court over allegations Const. Chris Labreche injured him

Cameras in the Sudbury Police station caught this on tape during an arrest last June. Tanner Currie is now taking the police to court, claiming excessive force 1:46

​​A Sudbury, Ont., man claims he was roughed up by a police officer, and ​says ​he's got the video to prove it.

The video, recorded on police cameras, shows the altercation at Sudbury police headquarters.

It features two different shots of Const. Christopher Labreche throwing an arrested 20-year-old Tanner Currie, face first, into a police station window, smashing the glass.

Tanner Currie alleges Cst. Christopher Labreche used excessive force against him. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)
"He's screaming in my ear. And I can't hear a word he's saying," Currie told CBC News as he watched the video.

"I was scared. I thought I was going to be paralyzed."

The video was filmed from two angles with police cell cameras shortly after 2:30 a.m. on June 8.

“I couldn't do anything,” Currie continued. “It's a police officer, and he's in a bad mood and he's throwing me around."

‘Justice for my son’

Currie was arrested for public intoxication and resisting arrest. Those charges were later dropped.

Currie's mom, Tina, wants to press charges against the police.

Tina Currie's son, Tanner, was arrested for public intoxication and resisting arrest on June 8. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)
"I want justice for my son. His neck will never be the same."

Currie said 85 per cent of his neck movement was lost for a few weeks after the incident. He said he's still experiencing problems with his neck and thyroid. He said he's seeing a chiropractor.

"Not being able to work out for me is a really big deal, like it's what I do. I really enjoy doing that and it's almost depressing that I go to the gym, I try to squat and my neck really hurts ... and now I can't,” he said.

"These officers get away with it. And they're going to keep doing it unless somebody does something about it."

Currie's lawyer, Trent Falldien, said he's taking on the case to stop what he sees as police bullying.

“If this is what Const. Labreche is doing on camera inside of his headquarters in the presence of other police officers, what is going on when there are no cameras on the streets of Sudbury?”

Internal use of force review cleared Labreche

"This is the greatest job in the world," says Labreche.

Sudbury police Supt. Sheilah Weber says an internal investigation was conducted and cleared Labreche of any wrongdoing.

“I have seen the video. I do understand the concerns of the community, whenever somebody has to use 'use of force' in a situation like this," Weber said.

Greater Sudbury Police superintendent Sheilah Weber says systems and processes are in place to review and assure that the force exercised was consistent with the circumstances provided. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)
"I can tell you that any time an officer is placed in a situation where they have to exercise their 'use of force' options, systems and processes are in place to review and assure that the force exercised was consistent with the circumstances provided."

"In this case, that was done," Weber continued.

Falldien said he's looking forward to having the matter heard in court.

“When I watch that video, and I see a 230-pound bully with a gun in all honesty. And I watch my client, a 130-pound man with his hands behind his back getting his face pushed into a glass window,” he said.

“That, in my view, is police bullying.”

Currie agreed.

"If I'm verbally communicating with an officer, at no point should he ever be able to use physical violence towards me."

Both Currie and his mother say they no longer have faith in the police.

"Regardless of what he did, nobody has the right to abuse you,” Tina Currie said. “I want repercussions for [these] police officers."

Sudbury lawyer Trent Falldien has taken on Tanner Currie's case. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)
​Falldien wonders why Currie wasn’t instead issued a ticket for public intoxication and a notice to appear in court.

"Not every time that you lay charges are you required to handcuff a person and bring them into a police cell,” he said.

Sudbury police say they will be able to provide more details on this story once the case is closed.

“We’re seeking the public’s patience and understanding that the legislative process that will be undertaken will reveal the entire facts of the situation and then they’ll be able to come up with their conclusions," Weber added.

On Thursday, Sudbury police Chief Paul Pedersen also issued a statement, saying: “We understand the concerns of our community whenever an officer is in a situation where that officer has to use force. It is important that the public understands that the Greater Sudbury Police Service takes these matters extremely seriously.

"As an organization we are legislated to comply with a series of checks and balances as well as civilian oversight agencies as it pertains to the use of force. Our community can rest assured that we have met and followed all of these requirements as a result of the use of force applied in this case.

"We pride ourselves on being an open and transparent organization. In this case, after this individual attempted a non- negotiable financial settlement and failed to speak with our Professional Standards ‎investigators, he has chosen to lay a private information in criminal court, as well as releasing this video footage. As this matter is currently before the courts, we are unable to comment any further...."

Tanner Currie is to learn Jan. 26 if the courts will take on his case.


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