Indian-origin store worker sues Canadian cop for deportation threat

Convenience store clerk Harjot Singh said Winnipeg police officer Jeffrey Norman's actions left him so shaken that he quit his job at the store

Representational image
Representational image


An Indian-origin convenience store worker in the Canadian province of Manitoba has filed a lawsuit against a police officer for allegedly searching his store without warrant and threatening to have him deported.

Harjot Singh, a clerk at a Sargent Avenue convenience store, said Winnipeg police officer Jeffrey Norman's actions left him so shaken that he quit his job at the store, the CBC news channel reported on Friday

Singh was told that he was under arrest for obstruction of a police officer after his cellphone was taken away and he was placed in handcuffs.

A statement of claim filed by Singh in Manitoba Court of King's Bench in late-December 2023 said Norman wanted to enter the shop while it was temporarily closed on 2 December last year. Singh unlocked the door "after a very brief interval" and Norman then proceeded to search the premises without a warrant.

The statement of claim revealed that Norman questioned Singh and threatened him with deportation from Canada if he didn't cooperate.

According to the lawsuit, "the search, which was "warrantless and unreasonable in the manner in which it was carried out," left Singh so shaken that he quit his job at the store.

While none of the allegations in the statement of claim have been tested in court, the lawsuit alleged that the officer's conduct was high-handed and "discriminatory on the basis of national or ethnic origin".

It further stated that Norman's actions "amounted to battery, false imprisonment and arbitrary detention, unreasonable search and seizure", and a violation of Singh's Charter rights.

In addition to asking for an unspecified amount of money in constitutional and punitive damages, the lawsuit has also asked a judge to order the City of Winnipeg to implement a remedial education programme for the Winnipeg Police Service.

Along with Norman, the City of Winnipeg has also been named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

While no statements of defence have been filed yet, CBC reported that Norman has been named in at least two previous lawsuits alleging excessive use of force.

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