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Photojournalist files $900,000 lawsuit against Hamilton police

Last Updated Jan 11, 2018 at 6:16 pm EDT

Hamilton police officer arrests Global News cameraman Jeremy Cohn

A television cameraman has filed a $900,000 lawsuit against the Hamilton Police Service for “unreasonable and excessive force” during his arrest last May.

Jeremy Cohn, a cameraman with Global News, is suing the department for false arrest, false imprisonment, assault, battery, intentional infliction of mental suffering as well as several breaches of his Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Cohn and another freelance photojournalist, David Ritchie, were arrested by police while attending the scene of an accident in which a 10-year-old girl was killed after being struck by a car.

In the statement of claim, Cohn alleges he was on the phone with a Hamilton media relations officer who advised him to “continue to shoot the scene as he normally would.” It was during a second conversation with the media relations officer that Cohn alleges he was “violently grabbed” by a police officer, dragged to a grassy area, pushed to the ground and restrained with a zip tie.

Cohn claims the incident left him “humiliated, confused and terrified.”

Video posted to social media showed police forcibly removing both men from the scene.

Cohn was eventually released without charges a short time later.

Cohn is asking for $700,000 in general damages and another $200,000 in punitive damages, according to court documents.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Ritchie, who was charged with obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest, entered into a peace bond last October which requires him to complete 12.5 hours of community service and make a $250 donation.