li-bc-120307-williams-lake-rcmp-assault

Martina Jeff says her teenaged daughter, Jamie Haller, was punched in the face by an RCMP constable while she was handcuffed in the back of a police car (CBC)

A First Nations woman who alleges she was beaten by a Mountie in Williams Lake, B.C., when she was 17 has now filed a civil suit against the city and three officers including one who was acquitted  of an assault charge.

Jamie Haller filed the lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver and is being represented by the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

Haller, who will turn 20 next week, says in a court document that she was running from five or six men who were chasing her on the night of Sept. 10, 2011, and asked a homeowner to call police.

She says Const. Andy Yung arrived and found her hiding behind a fence and threw her to the ground, dragged her to a more open area and then punched her in the face while she was handcuffed in the back of police car.

Yung was found not guilty last August, but Haller is now suing him and two other Mounties for civil damages, saying she suffered severe bruising, hemorrhaging of the eye and psychological distress.

Josh Patterson, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, says Haller's arrest and treatment are an example of how First Nations people are overpoliced and underprotected by law enforcement.