Two Vernon Mounties cleared of wrongdoing after take-down in domestic violence case | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Two Vernon Mounties cleared of wrongdoing after take-down in domestic violence case

May 06, 2021 - 11:34 AM

Two Vernon police officers have been cleared of wrongdoing after a man they arrested in a domestic violence call suffered an injury to his shoulder.

A report from the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., released today, May 6, said the unidentified officers “were acting appropriately.”

The incident happened in May 2020. A woman in Vernon called 911 saying her boyfriend was threatening to kill her. The call taker could hear someone in the background making similar threats.

Four RCMP officers responded to the scene and heard the two screaming at each other and heard her telling him to “get his hands off her,” chief civilian director Ronald McDonald said in the report. The officers entered the home and separated the parties, who were also unidentified.

The man remained calm, even while he was being arrested, the report says. Police handcuffed him and told him to sit down while the woman was interviewed in a police vehicle. At some point, the man became agitated and stood up. Two officers intervened, told him to remain seated. When they put hands on him, he struggled and somehow the three toppled to the ground.

The man later told police they “broke his shoulder” but no injuries were confirmed in the report.

The woman involved told investigators a much different story.

“They handcuffed him and told him to sit down on our chair in the living room, and then one of them said 'stand up'. He stood up and then they said 'Oh, you’re resisting arrest.' 'Oh, you told me to stand up', and then they slammed him on the ground. One stepped on him, and one had his knee in his neck,” she told investigators.

But McDonald noted that the woman was “apparently unhappy with the consequences that had flowed from the incident. She had wanted (the man) removed from the apartment, but wanted to be able to be with him afterwards. (The man) however, had been placed on court-ordered conditions to stay away from the apartment, and to have no contact with (her).”

It should be noted, though not mentioned in the report, this is not an unusual reaction in many domestic violence situations. But police forces in B.C. are mandated without discretion to remove someone from the home in domestic violence alls and in most cases, similar orders are made.

McDonald suggested her dissatisfaction with the process likely coloured her evidence, not that it mattered in the final assessment. He found there was plenty of evidence the officers were calm and measured and whether it was an accidental fall that caused the injuries or a use of force, it was not unreasonable given the circumstances.

The Independent Investigations Office is mandated to investigate any time serious harm or death occurs when B.C. police are involved and determine if officers committed an offence by their actions or inactions. McDonald said there was no offences committed in this case.

You can read the full report here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones or call 250-718-2724 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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