On Campus

Lawsuit filed over violent Western arrest

Student Irnes Zeljkovic is asking for $750,000 in damages

A man whose violent arrest at the University of Western Ontario was posted on YouTube is suing the London Police Services Board, the school and officers who made the arrest. The lawsuit filed by Irnes Zeljkovic, who was a student at the university, is asking for damages totalling $750,000.

In the 90-second video, a half-dozen campus and London police officers are shown violently arresting a suspect in October 2009. Police maintained at the time the level of force used was justified and cautioned the video didn’t tell the whole story, saying the suspect had earlier been combative and was resisting arrest. Mr. Zeljkovic was initially charged with multiple offences, including assaulting a peace officer, but all charges were later dropped on the condition he complete a mental health program.

Related: Violent arrest of Western student causes controversy

Lawsuit planned over violent Western arrest

His lawyer, Phil Millar, says his client is doing better since the incident and has spent the past seven months volunteering at a local high school. The lawsuit comes nearly a month after the university released a report on the incident, prepared by former Ontario Provincial Police commissioner Gwen Boniface. The report’s recommendations included having campus police officers take part in awareness training on de-escalation skills to assist in dealing with mental health issues.

The Canadian Press

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