Jan 16, 2023

By Jane Brown

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The lawyer and mother of the black University of Toronto student who is suing the Toronto Police Service are speaking about his case of an alleged violent tasering by Toronto police officers in August of 2021.

David Shellnutt told reporters Monday morning, he has seen the officers’ bodycam videos which he says clearly show the violent altercation between police and Hasani O’Gilvie.

“It’s difficult to imagine how haunting it must be to find yourself face down on the ground, piled on by three officers, while complying and pleading you’ve done nothing wrong as they hold you down by your neck and stun you with a taser repeatedly,” Shellnutt explained.

He accuses the Toronto Police Service of burying the bodycam video, which he says is likely because of the huge public outcry it will illicit.

(Christine Stought-O’Gilvie and husband Kenneth O’Gilvie, with son Hasani O’Gilvie in the background, near their Toronto home. Hasani, who’s face has been digitally altered to assure he is not identifiable as requested by the family, was arrested. tased and released by Toronto police in a case of mistaken identity. The family is suing the police, and three involved officers are facing Police Services Act misconduct charges. Jim Rankin/Toronto Star)

O’Gilvie’s mother Christine says despite what happened to her son, she wants good to come from it.

“It is my hope from Hasani’s experience and our experience as a family that there will be tangible harnessed changes as to how policing is done in Toronto, (particularly) of young black males.”

CTV News reports that based on one of the officer’s notes this was a mistaken identity case and that O’Gilvie was not the young black man they were trying to track down.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

And for that reason, a Toronto Police spokesperson says they could not comment on the case, which is not scheduled to be heard until February 2024.

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