No charges for three West Shore RCMP officers after woman’s jaw broken while in custody

After IIO investigation, B.C. Prosecution Service determined case did not meet its charge standard

Three members of the West Shore RCMP will not be facing charges for their involvement in an incident that resulted in injuries to a suspect in their custody.

The B.C. Prosecution Service announced Friday morning that no charges have been approved against the officers.

The incident took place on March 16, 2014 at approximately 1:15 a.m. An intoxicated suspect was arrested and transported to the local detachment. After arriving, according to the B.C. Prosecution Service, “the suspect became aggressive, resistant to direction and assaultive, attempting to strike one of the officers.”

While officers were restraining the suspect, she was taken to the ground and struck her chin causing a cut and broken jaw.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) investigated the actions of the three officers involved and submitted a report to Crown Counsel for review.

The IIO does not make recommendations on whether charges should be approved and the watchdog organization’s referral standard is much lower than that required for charges to be approved.

After reviewing the report, the B.C. Prosecution Service concluded the available evidence does not meet its charge assessment standard and “would not be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the officers committed a criminal offence or used excessive force in the administration or enforcement of the law.”

According to the the B.C. Prosecution Service’s clear statement – a detailed explanation of why charges were not approved after a report is forwarded by the IIO – the woman was brought into police custody after failing a roadside breath test. She was arrested for public intoxication after being issued a roadside suspension and refusing a taxi ride home, instead choosing to sit on the side of Goldstream Avenue in Langford and cry.

While being processed at the West Shore RCMP detachment, she became aggressive and had to be physically restrained. After being handcuffed, the woman stood up, verbally threatened and kicked out at the officers. One of the three officers involved in this investigation took hold of her kicking leg and she was taken to the ground again, this time breaking her jaw.

She was then transported to Victoria General Hospital but was denied treatment at the hospital for being rude and non-compliant. She was returned to the detachment and was kept in a cell for approximately six hours before being released. At that time she returned to the hospital for treatment. But it wasn’t until a week later, after seeing another doctor who ordered an X-ray, that it was discovered that her jaw was broken.

The charge of assault causing bodily harm was considered against the officers. While the Criminal Code allows officers to use force while in the line of duty and while acting on reasonable grounds, it also holds them criminally responsible for any use of excessive force.

The incident was witnessed by two officers not involved and was recorded on the detachment’s cellblock cameras, although the audio does not record all of the dialogue between the woman and the three officers.

An expert reviewed the footage as well as statements provided and determined the officers’ force was not excessive.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Province now allowing tent city campers to stay at Goldstream Park

Contrary to earlier reports, Ministry of Environment says there is no hard deadline for campers to leave, park open to public

Saanich offers land for housing for the homeless

Unclear many units of supportive housing the province will build in Saanich

B.C. seniors use antipsychotics more than any other province

One out of four residents is receiving antipsychotics without a supporting diagnosis

Oak Bay lawn bowling team takes gold in Qualicum Beach

Brent Jansen and Karen Evans take win at Canadian Lawn Bowling Mixed Pairs Championships

UPDATE: missing 26-year old Victoria man Gregory Partington found safe

Partington was last see on Sept. 19 in downtown Victoria

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Saanich mayoral candidates prepare for first roundtable

Mayor Richard Atwell and Coun. Fred Haynes will be among four mayoral candidates at Thursday’s forum

First Nations block roads to stop the moose hunt in B.C.’s Interior

Chief Joe Alphonse confirmed Thursday they’ve deactivated the Raven Lake Road and the Mackin Creek Road just before the Island Lake turnoff

‘Like an Alfred Hitchcock movie’: Birds fall dead from the sky in B.C. city

Raptor expert says he’s never seen it happen anywhere in the Lower Mainland

Canada signs global pact to help rid world’s oceans of abandoned fishing gear

The federal Fisheries Minister says it’s a ‘critical issue’

GOP pushing forward for Kavanaugh, accuser wants ‘fairness’

Kavanaugh has denied al allegations of sexual misconduct

Authorities should avoid harsh response to new homeless camp in Saanich

Unfortunately, authorities appear less tolerant towards the newest homeless camp in Saanich.

Former VP of lululemon joins B.C. cannabis cultivation facility

Kerry Biggs will be the Chief Financial Officer of True Leaf, in Lumby

Could cannabis help keep people in B.C. on treatment for opioid addiction?

People on opioid agonist treatment face lower risks of overdosing, BC Centre on Substance Use says

Most Read