Good Day Readers:
was in court Wednesday for the following. It will explain the reference to the City's temporary one-legged legal counsel shortly. Suffice it to say for now it was beyond hilarious - loved it!
Clare L. Pieuk
City police sued for harassment
Accuser key part of case against judge
By Mike McIntyre
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Alex Chapman seen in 2012 was embroiled against a female judge.
(Boris Minkeich/Winnipeg Free Press
A 13-year-old case of alleged police misconduct has finally made its way to a Winnipeg jury.
Alex Chapman filed a lawsuit in 2002, claiming city police carried out repeated acts of false arrest, harassment and malicious prosecution. The case slowly worked its way through the system with some of the other parties - including his ex-wife and her family members - reaching settlements.
But cases involving two police officers and the City of Winnipeg remain before the courts. Jurors began hearing evidence this week in a rare civil trial. None of Chapman's allegations has been proven. He is seeking unspecified financial damages.
Chapman, 49, testified Tuesday. He was first arrested in the fall of 2001 after his estranged wife called police, claiming he'd assaulted her and locked her out of their home.
He described waking up to find two officers in his bedroom.
"I was in a deep sleep. I said 'What are you doing in my room?' They said my wife complained I assaulted her," Chapman testified.
The charges were dropped weeks later when the woman said she'd made up the story.
"She had some mental issues," lawyer Ian Histed told jurors in his opening statement. He added the woman was placed in a psychiatric ward for several weeks following the incident.
"She said she was agitated that day and hadn't taken her meds," Chapman said.
Chapman sued the police in early 2002, but that was only the beginning of his issues, court was told. He was arrested a second time in late January of that year after his wife again called police and claimed he'd threatened to kill her and other family members during a confrontation in their home.
Chapman again denied any wrongdoing, and had placed a handful of 911 calls just prior to his arrest, asking police for help from the woman. He said she'd taken his vehicle without permission and he feared she was again going to make a false complaint against him.
Chapman told jurors Tuesday he pleaded with his wife to calm down.
"She started cursing me. She became enraged. She went ballistic on the phone," he said.
Those 911 calls made by Chapman were played for the jury. The operator tells Chapman there's not much police can do to assist him.
Histed said Chapman's second arrest happened just days after he filed his lawsuit -- and came at the hands of police officers who worked with the officers being sued.
"We say he was prosecuted in retaliation," Histed told jurors. "Things were generally unravelling."
Chapman was arrested a third time, in June 2002, when his wife phoned police to say he'd breached his no-contact order by calling her home and hanging up. All of the charges were dropped. Chapman later got a divorce.
"It is up to the police to prove their actions were lawful," Histed said in his opening statement. "We say they did so without any reasonable grounds, and maliciously."
Chapman made national headlines in 2010 when he filed a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council against Queen's Bench Justice Lori Douglas and her husband, Winnipeg lawyer Jack King.
Chapman claimed he was harassed by them. He said King - his former lawyer - showed him explicit nude photos of Douglas in an attempt to arrange a sexual tryst. Those photos were widely circulated online.
The complaint triggered a well-publicized and controversial formal judicial hearing that was recently scrapped against Douglas when she announced her retirement, effective next month. King was previously sanctioned by the Law Society for his role and has since died.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 22, 2015 A3