Edmonton man claims he's the victim of police brutality
Published Thursday, September 1, 2011 5:34PM MDT
An Edmonton man is claiming he's the victim of police brutality, and he believes video surveillance proves it.
On Sunday, Sammy Sobieh says there was a disagreement outside his shop where police were called, and responded with guns drawn.
"They said 'put your hands up'. I put my hands up and that's it," he said.
He says he dropped his cigarettes and lighter he had in his hand and turned around because he was ordered to. And that's when he says the officers grabbed him and slammed him to the ground.
"I found them just beating me up. I felt like my chest, my stomach, even my heart fall on the ground," said Sobieh.
Edmonton police say a witness told them Sobieh had a weapon, which Sobieh's denies. The video surveillance from the shop has no audio, only telling one side of the story, according to the president of the Edmonton Police Association, Sgt. Tony Simioni.
"Different levels of force are required depending on the information we have going in. And depending on the level of resistance shown by a particular suspect," he said.
Sobieh was arrested and escorted outside. He alleges he was then punched and kicked again in the alley, but the cameras do not point in that direction.
Sobieh has filed a complaint, claiming he was bruised, and had his knee injured.
A criminal investigation is underway, with the video a key piece of evidence.
"If the force used by the officers was determined to be excessive a common assault charge could be something that could result," said Insp. Mark Neufeld with the Edmonton Police Service.
Sobieh says he wants all three officers charged.
"I need these guys to be punished as thugs, as any thug that assault somebody -- because it wasn't called for."
Sobieh is dealing with his own charges at this point. Police have accused him of resisting arrest.
Officers will hand the video and interviews with witnesses over to prosecutors in Calgary who the decide if charges should be laid.
Officers will only confirm they were called to the business on a weapons complain. But Sobieh says he had a disagreement with a man who was loitering by his business.
He told CTV News the man called 911 claiming Sobieh was about to attack him with a meat hook.
Sobieh denies that saying he didn't threaten or touch the man.
With files from Sean Amato