A Central Saanich police officer and three Victoria police officers will not face charges after a woman’s shoulder was fractured during an arrest last year.
The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC released its report on the arrest on Thursday. According to the IIO, the incident occurred on July 25, 2017, after the woman allegedly stole a tip jar from a Victoria business and started striking a staff member who had followed her on the head. She also screamed at the staff member, the report said.
Police said a Central Saanich police officer, who was off duty and not in uniform, stopped to offer assistance. He then spoke to the witness and arrested the woman. According to the IIO, even though the officer was not on shift, he had a duty to protect the employee and arrest the suspect.
The report states the woman attacked the officer with one of her shoes and he then used force to defend himself by taking the woman to the ground. The IIO said the officer was entitled to use force to defend himself and all witnesses said the level of force was “proportionate and reasonable.”
Three Victoria police officers came to the Central Saanich police officer’s aid and took the woman into custody. There have been no allegations from the woman or witnesses about their treatment or handling of her.
The first officer did get stitches in his forehead. The investigation concluded that all four officers acted as required and in accordance with the law. It also found the Central Saanich officer acted with as much care as he could to protect everyone involved in the incident and that the woman was injured due to her continued fighting. Therefore, there will be no charges recommended against any of the officers involved.
The IIO does not release names of the officers or people who brought forward allegations in their reports.