Lawsuit filed against the Windsor Police Services Board and two officers claiming 'defamation' in relation to Arby's incident
WINDSOR, ONT. -- James Laughton Enterprises, which operates an Arby's local restaurant at 6807 Tecumseh Road in Windsor, has filed a $600,000 lawsuit against the Windsor Police Services Board and two officers.
The lawsuit relates to an incident on Friday, June 19, when Officer Tim Kettlewell, who was off-duty, posted an image to his personal Facebook page sent to him by an on-duty colleague who claimed he had been denied service at a Windsor Arby’s restaurant by two employees who took a knee – a gesture of protest as seen through the anti-police brutality and Black Lives Matter movement.
The lawsuit names Kettlewell, Shawn Farrand, and the police board.
The claim is seeking $500,000 in damages for “defamation, libel, slander, negligence, conspiracy, loss of reputation, unlawful interference with business interest, and lost revenue” and aggravated, exemplary and punitive damages in the amount of $100,000."
The lawsuit states Kettlewell's social media post was false — claiming Officer Farrand "received the food he ordered" and "returned his food to the Arby's Manager on duty and proceeded to take a photograph of the two Arby's employees, who were minor and were kneeling."
The lawsuit claims as a result of the social media post, Arby's received "numerous threats from members of the community and were forced to lock-down their two locations for three days to protect the restaurants and their employees from potential harm."
A news release issued by Windsor police on June 22 indicated that the officer's posting on social media was false and that the conduct of the off duty officer was under internal review for implying, "in his post that this Arby’s restaurant should not count on the off-duty police officer responding to their location should they need it."
Police board chair Drew Dilkens says the board does not comment on active litigation. CTV News also reached out to Windsor police on Monday for comment.
None of the allegations in the claim have been tested in court and no defense has been filed.
With files from CTV’s Rich Garton.