A special police unit from Surrey is in Port Alberni to investigate an incident involving a woman who suffered a broken kneecap after being arrested by RCMP.
The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) confirmed via press release on Monday that it is investigating the matter.
According to its website, the IIO conducts investigations into police related incidents of death or serious harm to determine whether or not an officer may have committed an offence. Incidents of serious harm include death, serious disfigurement and substantial mobility impairment.
The incident happened on Feb. 15, 2013, said IIO official Owen Court.
Two Port Alberni RCMP officers responded to a disturbance complaint involving an adult female, who was found on the corner of Maitland Street and Eighth Avenue.
Subsequent questioning by police determined that the woman was in violation of a court order and officers arrested her. The woman sustained injuries to her knee during the arrest. She was transported to RCMP lockup where she was tended to by BC Ambulance personnel. Court could not say how long it was before the call to BC Ambulance was made.
The woman was admitted to hospital where she was diagnosed with and treated for a fractured knee cap.
RCMP and IIO officials monitored the woman’s condition and on Feb. 22 the IIO assumed responsibility for further investigation.
Port Alberni Shelter Society manager Wes Hewitt denied that the woman was a resident of the facility, which located on Maitland Street and Eighth Avenue. But CTV News is reporting that witnesses say the woman was well known at the shelter. They also report that they heard her scream “You broke my leg, you broke my leg” after police placed her in the back seat of the car.
It is the second time the IIO has investigated the actions of police on Vancouver Island. The office first probed a police matter in Campbell River in December 2012.