B.C.’s police complaint commissioner has ordered a public hearing to look into allegations of police misconduct against two Vancouver police officers.
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner announced Thursday the hearing has been called as a result of a complaint of excessive use of force and improper entry into a private residence by constables Neil Logan and Eric Ludeman.
Vladimir Tchaikoun launched the complaint against the two officers in March 2017, a year after the alleged incident. According to the notice of public hearing, Tchaikoun alleges that on March 13, 2016, he opened his door and the two officers forced their way in. He alleges that he was punched, kicked and hit several times with a baton.
The complaint was initially investigated by the Victoria Police Department, which did not substantiate the allegations of abuse of authority. However, police complaint commissioner Clayton Pecknold appointed a retired judge to review the matter.
Retired B.C. provincial court judge Brian Neal concluded the evidence “appeared sufficient to substantiate” the complaint that the officers committed abuse of authority when they entered Tchaikoun’s home but did not substantiate the use of force allegations.
A discipline proceeding was held and the retired judge ultimately determined that none of the allegations against the officers were substantiated. However, no witnesses were called during the proceeding and, as a result, “Mr. Tchaikoun and other members of his family who were witnesses to the events did not have the opportunity to give testimony relating to the complaint,” Pecknold said in the notice of public hearing.
Following the retired judge’s decision, as is allowed under the regulations, Tchaikoun filed a formal request to have the police complaint commissioner arrange a public hearing or review on the record.
“Having reviewed the investigation... I have determined that a public hearing is required and necessary in the public interest,” Pecknold wrote.
A retired provincial court judge has been appointed to preside at the yet-to-be scheduled hearing.
Deputy police complaint commissioner Andrea Spindler said police did not have a warrant to enter the residence, where significant use of excessive force resulted in multiple injuries to the complainant.
"They included a diagnosis from a medical doctor of a probable concussion, damaged teeth, severe bruising of his body including his face, his arms, his legs and his abdomen and also multiple lacerations on his head, his face and lips and nose," she said.
- With files from The Canadian Press