Hamilton police officer on 18-month probation for lunging at woman in incident caught on video

Hamilton police officer on 18-month probation for lunging at woman in incident caught on video

by Sue Jones
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A Hamilton police officer has been placed on probation for 18 months after pleading guilty to assault for lunging at a woman in February 2021.

Hamilton Police Services

A Hamilton Police Service officer points at a camera before speaking to a resident. Minutes later, video shows the officer lunging at the resident. (Submitted by Paul Manning)

A Hamilton police officer has been placed on probation for 18 months after pleading guilty to assault for lunging at a woman in February 2021.

Court documents viewed by CBC Hamilton show Const. Ian Milburn has nine conditions to his probation issued on Nov. 10. They include:

  • Writing an apology letter to the woman he lunged at.
  • Avoiding all contact with her (except in an unavoidable emergency).
  • Attending anger management classes.
  • Completing 150 hours of community service.

CBC News has agreed to withhold the woman’s name due to safety concerns. 

The Hamilton Police Service told CBC Hamilton on Thursday that its professional standards branch is now reviewing the incident, as the criminal case is complete.

“If there is a Police Service Act hearing, media will be notified as outlined in the legislation,” spokesperson Jackie Penman said.

On Feb. 11, at roughly 4:30 p.m. ET, police said two officers responded to a dispute between a landlord and a tenant near King Street East and Sherman Avenue.

Surveillance footage appears to show what happened next.

In the video, two masked, uniformed officers are shown at the door of a basement unit of a home asking to speak with the tenant. 

WATCH  | Officer appears to lunge at woman:

Hamilton police investigate ‘concerning’ video

Hamilton police are investigating a video that appears to show an officer lunging at a resident. 2:11

One officer points at the camera before speaking with the tenant, who has the door cracked open.

The footage shows the tenant — a woman who is transgender and has disabilities — telling the officer her neighbour has made a complaint against her.

She also says he is the superintendent and he made past complaints about her.

In the video, she says the neighbour is trying to allow renovations that are contrary to the zoning of the home and he is trying to evict her. The superintendent is “harassing his tenant and making it construed to be the opposite,” she says.

“Can I finish my sentence?” one officer says. “If you damage his property, you are going to be arrested.”

The woman says she didn’t damage any property: “Please don’t speak to me like that.”

Tenant feels vindicated, but doesn’t trust police more

In a raised voice, the officer says, “I’ll just speak over you because clearly you’re unreasonable and you don’t listen.

“If you damage his property, you are going to be arrested. So do not damage anything. Is that clear? Thank you.”

In the video, the woman says she understands and, as the officers are leaving, adds, “Enjoy your bullying of a position.”

That’s when the officer turns and lunges toward the woman as she quickly shuts the door.

The video shows him looking at the other officer and laughing as they leave.

Following the incident, Milburn was charged with assault, placed on administrative duties and ordered not to have contact with the public. 

The woman told CBC Hamilton on Thursday the charges could have been avoided if Milburn had apologized earlier.

She said she feels “vindicated” the officer pleaded guilty, “but I certainly don’t have added faith in the justice system because of this particular circumstance.”

“The only reason he was held accountable is because I advocated for myself.”

She added she’ll be framing Milburn’s apology letter.

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