VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - A man died crashing his car during a pursuit after years of police harassment and intimidation aimed at turning him into an informant, his parents claim in court.
Roger and Gillian Pinette sued the City of Abbotsford and its Police Department, and the federal minister of justice, in British Columbia Supreme Court.
The Pinettes' son Jeremy died in June 2011 after losing control of his Dodge Viper during a police chase.
The Pinettes claim their son had endured years of police harassment because he had friends who hung out with Hell's Angels and Angels wannabes.
They claim the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Abbotsford Police Department tried to persuade Jeremy to become a snitch.
"They told Jeremy that his friends were engaged in drug trafficking and that he had a moral and legal duty to assist their investigation of his friends," the complaint states. "Jeremy rebuffed the approach of the RCMP and ADP and refused to become a police informant."
After he refused, police officers harassed him by stopping his vehicle, slashing his tires, arresting him without charge and releasing him after searching his car, his parents claim.
They say police officers also threatened to tell his friends that he was a snitch, to "undermine his friendships and potentially endanger him."
The parents claim police misinformed them about circumstances of the crash that killed their son, and concealed records, postponing their efforts to bring claims against anyone who may have caused or contributed to his death.
They seek punitive damages.
They are represented by Jason Gratl, of Vancouver.