A transgender woman who claims police officers yanked her from her car at gunpoint and mocked her because of her sexual orientation is suing the City of Winnipeg for allegedly breaching her rights against unlawful and unjustified detention.
Nikki Cox filed a statement of claim seeking damages against the city and police officials in Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench Monday. The claim contains unproven allegations that have not been tested in court.
Cox, who is in her 30s, says she was alone and out for a drive on the early morning of June 14 and pulled into the St. James Civic Centre’s parking lot to have a cigarette.
Shortly after, the police helicopter appeared directly overhead, followed by squad cars that boxed her vehicle in.
She alleges officers with guns drawn forced her out of the car and to the ground before being kneed in the back, roughly handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car.
Her vehicle was searched and officers mistakenly believed another person was inside, Cox states.
While in the police car, she “could hear some officers talking in chuckling voices saying ‘he’s a tranny,’” the lawsuit states.
Cox claims she was released shortly after, offered an apology and told officers were investigating a possible break in nearby.
She was told she was “in the wrong place at the wrong time,” the lawsuit states.
Cox is seeking undisclosed financial damages, claiming she suffered physical injuries, anxiety and humiliation as a result of the incident, as well as for the alleged breaches of her Charter rights.
The city has a policy to not comment on ongoing litigation.
“I realize police are human beings like the rest of us but this was not particularly professional,” said Cox’s lawyer, Norman Rosenbaum yesterday. “They have a shiny new helicopter, but this isn’t Hollywood.”
“I don’t know how they can do proper police investigation from 10,000 feet up in the sky,” he added.