Family accuses officers of 'police brutality' during arrest
CHESLEY, ONT. -- Vickie Hillier says her husband suffered life-threatening injuries at the hands of two West Grey Police officers earlier this month.
"He is still in the Trauma Unit. So, it’s been over two weeks now. He has broken ribs on the left side, most are broken, if not fractured. He has a collapsed lung. He has a broken nose," she says, from their family home near Chesley.
Hillier says it all started after the family called the West Grey police to help them remove someone from their home around 2 a.m. on June 6.
What happened next is part of a lawsuit filed against the West Grey Police Service and the two responding officers.
The lawsuit claims that the Hilliers' son, Casey Hillier, was arrested by the officers, and was "slammed" into a police cruiser, put in a head lock, hit with a stun gun and struck with a baton over 20 times.
When his 68-year-old father, Vickie's husband David Hillier, tried to intervene, the lawsuit claims he was also hit with the stun gun and struck repeatedly with the baton.
"Dave asked them to 'Stop, please stop. Stop beating my son. He’s on the ground, he's not a threat.' They would not stop. Dave was having a hard time watching this happen to his son. So he intervened. And when he did, they turned to Dave. They Tasered him. He fell to the ground. The one officer jumped on his back, began to beat him with the baton" says Vickie.
Davin Charney is the Hilliers' lawyer.
"What I see in the photos is that they show that David was struck with a baton all over his body. From his shoulders, down his back, and to the back of his legs. Considering there's no weapon involved, what could possibly justify that type of repeated beating of an elderly man with a baton," he states.
David was not charged with anything. His son, Casey was charged with two counts of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.
A media release from the West Grey police says two of their officers suffered injuries during the arrest as well. But, the lawsuit says what happened to them was "police brutality."
They want the officers in question suspended without pay and eventually fired.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is investigating father and son's arrest.
Charney believes the evidence will lead to assault charges against one, if not both of the officers.
"If he’s convicted of assault, there’s a good chance he’ll lose his job. That would be a great thing for justice," says Charney.
"When you ask for help and you get this end result. I just don’t know how it could have to this, really," says Vicki.
On Thursday evening, family, friends and supporters are planning a demonstration outside the West Grey Police Service station in Durham, Ont.
The family has also set up a GoFundMe campaign.
West Grey police refused comment on the Hilliers arrest, as the case is before the SIU. None of the accusations have been proven in court.