In a statement of claim filed in July 2017, Philip Alafe has sued the Brantford police over his treatment while he was held overnight in a police cell in July 2015. Kelley Bryan and Alex Procope are representing Mr. Alafe in the claim.
In April 2017, Justice Lenz of the Ontario Court of Justice stayed Mr. Alafe’s charges on the basis that he was subject to “cruel and unusual treatment” while in police custody.
Mr. Alafe has depression and sickle-cell anemia, a painful hereditary condition. He claims that while he was in custody, Brantford police took the view that his requests for medical attention were a ruse, denied him medical aid and withheld his pain medication. When he continued to request assistance, police officers Cheney Venn and Brad Loveday violently took away his blanket, mattress and clothing, leaving him naked in the cell for many hours.
Eventually, Mr. Alafe claims, he felt “powerless and bereft of all dignity” and became suicidal. He made an unsuccessful suicide attempt using his socks. This attempt, he says, was visible to the officers on their video feed but they did not intervene. The claim alleges that, despite knowing Mr. Alafe had just attempted suicide in their custody, Venn and Loveday did nothing to assist him and still did not provide him with any medical attention.