On April 4th, an Ottawa father was assaulted by a bylaw officer and given a $2,000 fine. He says he was singled out of the crowd who were asked to leave Michelle Heights park.
Because no charges were laid against the bylaw officer for the assault, the Ottawa father hired lawyer, David Anber, to reverse the decision to not lay charges and look at the possibility of a ‘professional standards’ complaint being made.
David Anber said that if a fresh look is given to this situation to see if protocols by the bylaw officers were actually followed, it would be found that they were not.
David Anber believes that charges should’ve been laid against the bylaw officer.
See the full transcript below.
CTV NEWS – An Ottawa father has hired a lawyer after he was allegedly punched in the face in April, then handed a two thousand dollar ticket from bylaw. Police found the bylaw officer did assault the man. but no criminal charges will be laid.
CTV NEWS REPORTER – This is Obi Ifedi running from police on April 4th.
OBI IFEDI – And next thing you know I’m literally like this. I’ve just fallen. He just went on top of me, straight punch to the face.
CTV NEWS REPORTER – Ifedi says he was walking with his seven-year-old daughter, Zoey, in Michelle Heights Park, when by-law arrived and asked everyone to leave, but he says he was singled out.
OBI IFEDI – Leave us alone. We’ve already left the park. He didn’t like what I said to him. He said, “I’ll just write you a ticket then.”
CTV NEWS REPORTER – He says the bylaw officer and two nearby police officers followed and harassed him. Ifedi says it ended with him in handcuffs after the by law officer punched him in the face. Zoey watching it all.
OBI IFEDI – I’m black. The bylaw officers are white. Look at what’s happening in the world all the time and tell me you wouldn’t be afraid for your life.
CTV NEWS REPORTER – On March 31st the province gave officers the temporary ability to require someone to identify themselves if the officer believes they are not following Ontario’s emergency measures.
OBI IFEDI – He comes up beside me and hands me two tickets, two thousand dollars worth of tickets.
CTV NEWS REPORTER – Police investigated the assault.
In an email obtained by CTV News, police told Ifedi:
“There was evidence that the bylaw officer did commit an assault while you were on the ground by striking you in the face. He has accepted responsibility. I decided that the pre-charge diversion is the most appropriate way to resolve the matter.”
Meaning the bylaw officer will not be charged.
DAVID ANBER – The fact that it was a bylaw officer on duty, should mean it’s all that more serious, because he’s somebody that we’ve entrusted, as the public, to enforce the law. But it actually seems to be the other way around, that because he’s a bylaw officer that another branch of law enforcement has given him preferential treatment.
CTV NEWS REPORTER – Ifedi is now working with a lawyer to reverse the decision.
DAVID ANBER – Looking at the possibility of a professional standards complaint, because I believe that if a fresh look is given to this and to see if protocols actually were followed, it would be found that they were not, and the proper result should have been charges being laid.
CTV NEWS REPORTER – Ifedi says the city is conducting an internal investigation. CTV News is still waiting to hear back from the city.