In a shocking turn of events, an Indian-origin convenience store worker in Manitoba, Canada, has taken legal action against a Winnipeg police officer, accusing him of conducting an unwarranted search and threatening deportation. Harjot Singh, a clerk at a Sargent Avenue convenience store, claims that the actions of Officer Jeffrey Norman were not only unlawful but also left him so traumatized that he resigned from his position.
The incident, which unfolded on December 2 of last year, saw Officer Norman allegedly attempting to enter the closed shop without proper authorization. Singh, complying with the request after a brief delay, found himself at the mercy of an unauthorized search, conducted without a warrant.
Singh’s statement of claim, filed in the Manitoba Court of King’s Bench late last month, sheds light on the distressing encounter. Norman reportedly questioned Singh during the search and, shockingly, threatened him with deportation if he did not cooperate.
The lawsuit contends that the search was not only “warrantless and unreasonable” but also had severe repercussions on Singh’s well-being, prompting him to resign from his job at the convenience store. While the claims made in the lawsuit are yet to be tested in court, it accuses Officer Norman of high-handed conduct and discrimination based on national or ethnic origin.
The statement further asserts that Norman’s actions amounted to battery, false imprisonment, arbitrary detention, and unreasonable search and seizure, constituting a violation of Singh’s rights. Seeking unspecified damages, including general, constitutional, and punitive, the lawsuit also calls for a judge to mandate a remedial education program for the Winnipeg Police Service, to be implemented by the City of Winnipeg.
The legal action against Officer Norman is not an isolated incident. CBC reports that Norman has been named in at least two previous lawsuits alleging excessive use of force. As the case unfolds, the City of Winnipeg finds itself named as a co-defendant in this lawsuit, raising questions about the overall conduct and accountability of the Winnipeg Police Service.