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No Charges Warranted in Ingonish RCMP Arrest of Woman
The province's independent Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) has released its report into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a 57-year-old woman in Meat Cove, on Sunday, August 10, 2014.
Shortly after 11a.m., an RCMP officer from Ingonish responded to a Meat Cove residence regarding a complaint of pointing a firearm from the previous evening. The woman was under the influence of alcohol when he arrived at her home. The officer placed the woman under arrest, and as they went to the police vehicle she got into the rear seat before the officer was able to search her to check for possible weapons. The woman refused to get out of the vehicle to allow for a search, and as a result the officer attempted to pull her from the rear seat. The woman fell awkwardly, and broke her upper left arm. EHS was immediately called.
The woman said the officer pulled her out of the vehicle without warning. However, the officer had audiotaped the encounter, and the tape confirmed his statement to investigators, that he asked her several times to get out of the vehicle prior to pulling her out.
The investigation concluded that the officer had grounds to arrest the woman, and, given the circumstances of the gun complaint, had grounds to ensure the woman had no weapons. The officer was entitled to use reasonable force to pull the woman from the vehicle. There was no intent to injure, and the officer acted appropriately throughout. The injuries resulted from the woman’s refusal to follow the reasonable instructions of the officer.
The full report is available at http://sirt.novascotia.ca.
SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald, who is solely responsible for decisions respecting the laying of any charge.
Ronald MacDonald, QC
Serious Incident Response Team