Global News reporter sues Hamilton police over arrest at crash scene

A Global News journalist who was briefly arrested while covering a fatal crash last year has filed a lawsuit against Hamilton police, alleging an officer used excessive force in an effort to prevent him from filming.

Jeremy Cohn says Hamilton police Const. Jeffrey Todoruck _ who is also targeted in the lawsuit _ breached his duty by forcefully arresting a clearly identified journalist who was acting peacefully.

He says the officer aimed to intimidate him in order to prevent him from reporting on the May 16 incident, which claimed the life of a 10-year-old girl.

In a statement of claim filed this week, Cohn further alleges the Hamilton Police Services Board failed to ensure officers were properly trained to deal with journalists and encouraged or permitted a culture of disrespect towards media, among other things.

The lawsuit seeks $700,000 in damages for negligence, false arrest, false imprisonment, assault, battery, mental suffering and breach of rights, as well as an additional $200,000 in punitive damages.

The allegations have not been proven in court and a statement of defence has not yet been filed.