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No Wrongdoing by HRP Officers in Arrest of Woman in March
The province’s Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) has released its report regarding the March 20, 2014 arrest of a 21-year-old woman by Halifax Regional Police (HRP).
At 2:14 p.m. the woman’s boyfriend called HRP to say the woman was threatening to take her own life. Police went to her apartment, and found a note she wrote which confirmed the boyfriend’s concerns. They located the woman sitting in an enclosed stairway in a restaurant building near the Armdale roundabout. She refused to go with them to hospital, and then struggled intensely as they attempted to place her in custody under the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act. A civilian witness, who commented that the police acted very professionally, confirmed the woman’s strong resistance. At one point the woman kicked one officer several times. As the other officer struggled to apply handcuffs he heard a “pop” from her arm and called EHS immediately. The woman was taken to hospital and treated for a broken upper right arm in addition to her mental health issues.
The investigation determined that the police had a duty to place the woman into custody and take her to hospital, and the right to use reasonable force to do so. No excessive force was used. Her arm was broken unintentionally as the woman struggled with the police. Therefore no charges are warranted against either 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