VicPD cleared of wrongdoing over broken ankle
VICTORIA -- B.C.’s police watchdog has cleared VicPD officers of any wrongdoing during an arrest that left one man with a broken ankle.
The incident occurred on the evening of Feb. 16 after police were called to Victoria’s Inner Harbour for reports of an alleged assault.
When police arrived at the scene, they found a bystander who told officers that they were a witness of the assault and had called 911.
The bystander then gave police descriptions of two alleged assaulters, and officers located a “group of teenagers” who matched the descriptions, according to the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO).
As police approached the group, one officer told the group that two of them were being placed under arrest due to the alleged assault.
At that point, the teenagers began to flee the area.
Police were able to catch the two suspects, but one teen struggled with officers during the arrest. One officer told the IIO that he witnesses the teen “punching and kicking” an officer that was trying to place him into handcuffs.
The officer that was being kicked “finally gained control of (the teen) by picking him up and slamming him into the wooden pier” says the IIO.
The teen later told the IIO that he was “wiggling around” during the arrest and that he was “resisting a little bit.” He added that an officer may have tripped or deliberately stepped on his ankle during the encounter.
Once handcuffs were placed on the teen, he was unable to stand on his left food and immediately told officers that he felt pain.
Despite being in pain, police say that the teen continued to kick officers in the shins and torso while being carried to a police vehicle. He was then brought to police cells before being transferred to hospital, where he was diagnosed with a broken ankle.
The IIO notes that the teen claimed that an officer “roughly” removed a boot from his injured foot. However, security footage from police later showed that the teen removed the boot on his own.
B.C.’s police watchdog says that the force used by officers during the arrest was warranted, given the fact that the teen was resisting and actively kicking the officers.
“There is a lot of evidence that indicates that (the teen) was violently resisting police in this encounter and following it,” says the IIO.
“It is not clear exactly when (the) injury to his ankle occurred, but there is no evidence that the injury that (he) suffered was a result of the unlawful application of force during the arrest.”