DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The Independent Investigations Office of BC has determined that Dawson Creek RCMP acted in the “lawful execution of their duty” in the apprehension of a woman that resulted in her injury.
On the morning of September 11th, 2021, Dawson Creek RCMP members responded to reports of a woman said to be smashing car windows while carrying an aluminum baseball bat and a kitchen knife.
According to the IIOBC report, there was information provided to officers that claimed the woman had either stabbed or attempted to stab an RCMP member a few weeks prior. While the IIOBC was unable to verify that this incident occurred, they did confirm that this information was provided to responding officers.
IIOBC says they obtained two short video recordings from civilian witnesses. The first reportedly shows the suspect on the ground with one officer apparently holding her in place with his knee and other officers standing by. RCMP members appear calm in this video, but the suspect can be heard yelling something unintelligible.
In the second video, the suspect is on an ambulance gurney with police and paramedics attempting to secure her for transport with her lower right arm in a splint.
“[The suspect] is clearly uncooperative, moving her arms and legs in a way that is making it very difficult for restraints to be applied,” the IIOBC report reads.
One police witness said the suspect was non-compliant, both with police and paramedics, reportedly attempting to “punch out” nurses while being cared for at the hospital afterward.
The suspect is said to have sustained a compound fracture of her right wrist during her apprehension while an officer attempted to get her to drop the kitchen knife by swinging at it with his baton.
“It looked like he was just going to get the knife, but all of a sudden, her hand just flailed out, and he got her whole arm,” one officer said.
Officers also used pepper spray on the suspect, which ultimately was unsuccessful.
IIOBC says the evidence collected, including accounts of eyewitnesses and cell phone video of the aftermath, establishes that the suspect was not behaving rationally and was armed with weapons that were capable of causing significant physical harm to officers attempting to take control of her physically.
“The involved officers, in this case, acted with restraint, ensuring as their duty required that the public be protected and that [the suspect] be prevented from causing any more harm to others or herself,” IIOBC stated.
“They applied increasing but appropriate levels of force in a measured way without over-reacting. In summary, they handled a difficult situation as well as could be expected.”
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