The Independent Investigation Unit (IIU) has concluded its investigation into allegations of the use of excessive force in an arrest made by the Brandon Police Service (BPS) on Jan. 1, 2023.
On Feb. 21, 2023, the BPS received a complaint from a woman regarding the alleged use of excessive force, resulting in injuries, during her arrest on Jan. 1.
According to the notification, the affected person’s partner called police to report her as “highly intoxicated and going crazy.” He said that she had smashed the front windshield of his SUV. Officers attended the residence and found the woman.
Due to her level of intoxication, witness officers decided the woman could not be left alone to care for herself. The officers made calls to find a family member or friend to look after her for the night but had no success. The woman was arrested for breach of the peace and taken into custody out of concern for her safety and well-being.
After being assessed at a local hospital, the woman was taken to the BPS detention unit.
On March 1, 2023, BPS notified the IIU of the incident. As these allegations are considered discretionary matters under the provisions of the Police Services Act (PSA), the civilian director determined that it was in the public interest for an independent investigation to be conducted pursuant to s. 75 of the PSA.
The civilian director designated one subject officer and four witness officers. IIU investigators obtained interviews from the four witness officers. The subject officer declined to provide an interview. A fifth officer was not designated as a witness officer, as he was not directly involved in the incident, though he provided some information on his dealings with the affected person.
The IIU determined that there was no medical evidence to support that the woman suffered any injuries from being assaulted by the subject officer. Neither was there evidence to support such injuries when she attended the hospital on Jan. 1, nor when she went to see her family physician on March 10, 2023.
The only evidence of injuries was bruising on her legs. The witness officers, who dealt with her at her residence, noted that the affected person already had those injuries. There was also no evidence to support that any force was required or used by officers during the booking process.
The IIU’s mandate is to consider whether the injuries suffered by the complainant may have resulted from the actions of police officers who attended the scene of the incident. Considering all the circumstances, the civilian director is satisfied that no evidence suggests that any BPS officer mistreated or assaulted the woman.