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Indigenous mother, son launch lawsuit over 2019 arrest at Vancouver Walmart

Last Updated Aug 3, 2020 at 4:01 pm PST

FILE: A Walmart sign in Warrington, Pa., is shown Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

VANCOUVER – An Indigenous mother and son have launched a lawsuit against the Vancouver Police Department, the City of Vancouver and Walmart over an arrest on Mother’s Day last year.

A statement of claim filed this week in B.C. Supreme Court says officers used excessive force and unlawfully arrested Shane Robertson and Margaret Deneault after they left a Vancouver Walmart store.

The lawsuit alleges a security guard accused Robertson of stealing, he denied it and the family left the store.

It says while they loaded their vehicle, six Vancouver police officers arrived, tackled Robertson to the ground and restrained him by putting their knees on the back of his head, neck and legs.

The lawsuit says Robertson wasn’t resisting but was repeatedly punched while he was restrained.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statements of defence have yet been filed.