A Toronto police officer "took the law into his own hands" when he stopped a Sudanese man in 2011 "for no reason apart from the colour of his skin," said an Ontario Superior Court judge, calling it an incident of carding.
Justice Frederick Myers awarded damages of $27,000 on Thursday to Mutaz Elmardy, 38, who was stopped by police, punched in the face twice, had his pockets searched, and was kept handcuffed lying down for 20-25 minutes.
"The police had no right to detain Mr. Elmardy for carding alone," Myers ruled, saying police in this case "administered some street justice."
Elmardy was suing Const. Andrew Pak and the Toronto Police Services Board for assault, battery, unlawful arrest, and violation of his Charter rights.
Myers found that police had no reasonable suspicion that Elmardy had committed any criminal conduct when Pak and Const. Candice Poole stopped him in the early evening of Jan. 15, 2011.
Elmardy had been walking on Shuter Street after leaving evening prayers at his mosque.
When he was stopped on the cold winter's night, Elmardy had his hands in his pockets.
The judge said what ensued was a "false arrest" and agreed with Elmardy's stand that he'd been denied proper legal treatment.
"I accept his desire to show that he is equal under the law and that the law applies to him as a refugee permanent resident just as much as to anyone."
"The Charter protects all of us," Myers said.
Although Myers noted that Elmardy had been "hostile" to police, he did so because "he did not want to be speaking to the police. He did not give a knowing consent to a search."
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