October 7, 2008
Michele Henry, Toronto Star
An autistic man has denied that he provoked police officers before they allegedly used a Taser to subdue him during a search of his family’s North York home.
"I do not attack," George Lochner, 43, told reporters this morning at the office of lawyer Clayton Ruby. "I did not attack. I did not try to leave the room. I tell the truth."
According to a lawsuit filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Lochner was Tasered by police on Aug. 11, 2006 in the bedroom of his Verwood Ave. home.
The officers were apparently searching for Lochner’s brother, Silvano, following allegations that he had threatened to assault a neighbour with a sledgehammer.
The lawsuit, which seeks more than $9 million in damages, claims George Lochner was hit at least twice with the Taser.
None of the family's accusations has been proven in court. In a statement of defence, the police and the board deny all of the family's allegations.
Speaking this morning, Ruby called the use of the Taser a blatant misuse of force, especially since he said police did not have a valid warrant to enter Lochner's home.
Ruby called for a ban on Tasers, and described Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair as being “addicted” to them.
“That addiction has to stop," Ruby said.
A spokesperson for Toronto police said the force completely rejects the family's allegations and will vigorously challenge them in court.
"We will put evidence before the court that that wasn't the case," said Mark Pugash. "Our case is laid out clearly."
Pugash also described Ruby's call for a ban on Tasers as "ridiculous."
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
October 7, 2008