Victim of Kelowna 2019 RCMP shooting launches lawsuit | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Victim of Kelowna 2019 RCMP shooting launches lawsuit


A man who was shot during a traffic stop in Kelowna in 2019 has launched a civil claim against the officer who pulled the trigger.

On Dec. 22, 2019, Philip Hakim was driving along Highway 97 near Dilworth Drive, when a Central Okanagan Traffic Services officer attempted to stop him around midnight.

The officer, Const. David Gauthier, was travelling in the opposite direction, but activated his emergency lights, made a U-turn and sped up to catch Hakim, according to the notice of claim.

Instead of stopping, Hakim turned northbound onto Spall Road, then onto a residential street.

Gauthier was instructed by his commanding officer to "not engage" with Hakim, which was recorded on in-car video equipment, according to court documents.

Although the civil claim does not state why Gauthier attempted to stop Hakim, the officer disobeyed the order from his commanding officer and continued to follow Hakim while turning his emergency lights off.

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He eventually blocked Hakim's truck in a cul-de-sac, turned his emergency lights back on and exited the car with his firearm in hand.

"Stop right there," Gauthier said, while pointing his firearm toward Hakim and blocking the road where Hakim might escape.

Within a moment, Gauthier fired two shots through the passenger side window. The bullets missed the female passenger, but Hakim took both to his right arm, court documents state.

Gauthier then returned to his vehicle to pursue Hakim, but the officer eventually lost sight of him along Highland Drive North.

"You said do not engage, but do you want us to set up any kind of containment?" Gauthier asked over the radio a short time after the shooting, according to the civil claim.

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Gauthier's commanding officer declined any containment or continued pursuit.

Hakim was later treated for two gunshot wounds on his forearm at Kelowna General Hospital, but the injury left him unable to continue his employment.

Represented by lawyer Cory Armour, Hakim is seeking damages for aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and careless discharge of a firearm. He is also seeking relief for lost income, punitive damages and costs.

The civil claim lists Hakim as the sole plaintiff. Const. David Gauthier, RCMP, B.C.'s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and the Attorney General of Canada are listed as defendants in the suit.

B.C.'s police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, started their own investigation, which resulted in recommendations to charge Gauthier.

READ MORE: B.C.'s police watchdog recommends charges against Central Okanagan Traffic Services officer after shooting

Chief civilian Director Ronald J. MacDonald determined there was reasonable grounds for criminal charges and sent a report to the B.C. Prosecution Service in September 2020.

Crown prosecution has not laid criminal charges against Gauthier, and the claims have not been proven in either civil or criminal court.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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