Family of gunmaker shot dead by Toronto police sues for $23 million

Family of gunmaker shot dead by Toronto police sues for 23M $


The family of a 70-year-old gunmaker who was shot dead during a police search last November in Port Dover, Ontario has launched a $23 million lawsuit against Toronto police.  

On November 3, a police intervention team stormed the home of Rodger Kotanko, a firearms manufacturer duly registered with the authorities. During the intervention, a police officer opened fire on the man, fatally hitting him.

The officers had gone to Mr. Kotanko's residence with a search warrant which was illegal and used excessive force, the man's family alleges in their lawsuit which targets five unnamed officers, in addition to Inspector Norman Proctor and Toronto Police Chief James Ramer.

According to the warrant request obtained by the Toronto Star, Toronto police suspected Rodger Kotanko of having erased the serial numbers of two firearms that ended up in the hands of two young Torontonians. The two guns in question had been seized in two separate operations and investigators were able to piece together their serial numbers, which linked them to D.A.R.K. International Trading Company, one of the arms manufacturer's two businesses.

Rodger Kotanko's family denounced an intervention deemed unnecessarily muscular, “military style”, in connection with this search warrant.

“The Kotonko family holds the Toronto police responsible, so that this does not doesn't happen to anyone else. Rodger Kotanko has not been able to defend himself or his reputation, but his family will,” family attorney Michale Smitiuch said in a statement.

The unit of Ontario's special investigations, in particular responsible for investigating police events where people were injured or killed, is still continuing its investigation into the events of November 3.

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