VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – As the Vancouver Canucks embark on one of the team’s most promising Stanley Cup playoff runs in years, a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police claims his leg was broken during a fight involving hockey revelers in 2009, because of improper and negligent planning by federal police.
Rasheed Koya, an aspiring member of the RCMP’s emergency response team, claims in B.C. Supreme Court that his aspirations were dashed when his leg was broken in an altercation with fans celebrating the team’s 2009 playoff run in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey.
Revelers gathered in an intersection which had been the site of a hockey riot in 2007, according to the complaint, and the police force was unprepared to handle the crowd.
The crowd swelled to around 1,500 people, but police had assigned only 15 officers to control the group, and scrapped planned road closures due to concerns they would “create a negative public image for the RCMP, as they would appear to be taking a heavy-handed approach.”
Koya says a fight ensued after a member of the crowd pushed an officer, that he was knocked off balance during the fight and three people fell on top of him.
An ambulance was delayed in responding because of the crowd, Koya says. He needed a steel rod surgically implanted in his leg to reinforce his broken tibia and fibula. He says the injury precluded him from trying out for the force’s emergency response team.
In 2010, the police force set up a mobile command unit at the intersection during the hockey celebrations. Koya says no officers were injured during the 2010 playoff gatherings.
He sued the Attorney General of Canada, Her Majesty the Queen, the Attorney General of British Columbia, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General of British Columbia, R.C.M.P. commissioner William Elliot, deputy commissioner Gary Bass and Staff Sgt. Robert McCloy.
Koya is represented by Marjorie Brown with the Victory Square Law Office.