A Canadian man is suing the country’s police department over claims that he emerged from the shower naked to find a uniformed female Mountie standing in his room, and that officers then mocked him as “the shower boy.”
Kirk Forbes filed a notice of civil claim in July, a year after the surprise visit, accusing the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer of abusing her authority and failing to identify herself as a police officer until Forbes demanded to know who was inside your house.
“When I open the bathroom door, slam, right there, I come face to face with an intruder in my home,” Forbes told CTV News.
“A little panic set in.”
The incident took place in June 2022 inside Forbes’ home in Coquitlam, a British Columbia city just 40 kilometers north of the border with Washington.
After getting dressed, Forbes entered his living room and found a police officer searching his property, he claims.
The couple told him the door opened when they knocked and they allegedly joked about entering the home without consent or a search warrant.
Additionally, Forbes claims the disturbance was disproportionate to the reason he was wanted: receiving a ticket for failing to stop for a school bus, something he claims he didn’t know he had committed.
Kirk Forbes claims two armed police officers entered his home uninvited while he was in the shower. CTV News
“There is such a serious overreach, an abuse of power, that I believe occurred when they broke into my house,” Forbes said.
“And I think Canadians need to be aware that this has happened and is happening. It is an erosion not only of my rights but of everyone’s rights.”
The Mounties confirmed Tuesday that two of their officers entered the home after noticing it appeared to be “an unsafe premise.”
The RCMP acknowledged the homeowner expressed concerns about the entry, but said they “believed” the issues were resolved informally.
Forbes claims he came out of the shower naked and found the Mounties standing in his room. CTV News
Forbes, however, said he became increasingly angry with the Mounties in the months after the incident.
He made an informal complaint about the situation the morning it occurred and was told the department would investigate and report back to him, he says.
After three weeks passed without any updates, Forbes visited the local detachment, where a receptionist allegedly referred to him as “the shower boy.”
Forbes was shocked that his vulnerable moment had become department material, which only caused more anxiety and embarrassment, leading him to file the formal complaint in May.
The Mounties were in uniform but did not identify themselves until Forbes asked them to, he says.AP
He also filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages against the two officers, Canada’s attorney general and British Columbia’s public safety minister.
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“It was quite disturbing, not to mention embarrassing, to know that this situation has become a joke in the RCMP room,” he said.
“If I get pulled over or see any RCMP in the community, now I have to look at them and let them know I’m that guy?”
The RCMP said it was investigating the incident, but that officers may have had a plausible reason for entering uninvited.
“There is case law that says if there is an unsafe premise, police have a duty to make sure that no one is hurt inside, and the only way to do that is to go inside,” said RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Alexa Hodgins told CBC News.
Hodgins said examples include “a broken window, a door opening or maybe the door is already open, that type of thing.”
The RCMP has not yet filed a statement of defense in the lawsuit.
Forbes said he is questioning the violation of the ticket the officers entered his home to give him that day.