Mistreatment claim leads to investigation of Regina police

Regina Police have requested an investigation by the Public Complaints Commission after accusations they mistreated a 25-year-old Brooke Watson surfaced on social media.

Brooke Watson, 25, says police scared her by driving her out of town before putting her in a jail cell

Brooke Watson (left) has taken her story to the Public Complaint Commission. Regina Police have also asked the Commission to investigate. (Ntawnis Piapot/CBC News)

Regina Police have requested an investigation by the Public Complaints Commission after accusations they mistreated a 25-year-old Brooke Watson surfaced on social media. 

In a Facebook post Sunday evening, Watson's mother, Lisa Dustyhorn, accused Regina police of "traumatizing" her daughter. 

"My daughter begged for her life and then they threw her in jail cells. My daughter was missing. I didn't know where she was," the post said in part. 

CBC News spoke with Watson and Dustyhorn on Monday. 

Watson said she and her sister were dropped off at Watson's apartment. Not long after the police were called there after a report of two intoxicated women. 

According to Watson, her sister was having a panic attack, so police called her an ambulance. Watson got into a cruiser, and that's where the version of the story between Watson and police splits drastically. 

Watson said she told police she wanted to go to her mom's.

"I was ... really scared. I said 'please can you drive me to my mom's?' and they didn't say anything. They just kept driving and driving and driving," Watson said. 

Watson alleges police drove her out of the city with their electronic equipment off before turning around and taking her to jail. She stayed there for 12 hours. 

In her post on social media, Dustyhorn said she looked all day for her daughter and called the police, but claims they did not give her any information. A half hour later, she said her daughter called from the Regina police cells and said she had been released with no charges. 

Watson has filed her own complaint with the Public Complaints Commission. 

Police respond to accusations

In a release Monday afternoon, police confirmed they did pick up a 25-year-old woman and 16-year-old girl in the early morning hours of Jan. 4, 2015. 

According to police, they were called to the 3500 block of Avonhurst Drive just before 5 a.m. CST, where they found the two women they say were extremely intoxicated. 

Police said when they arrived one woman was banging on a door of an apartment, while the other was semi-conscious in front of the building. 

The women were checked out by paramedics, who took the 16-year-old to the hospital, police said.

According to the officers, the 25-year-old was not able to provide them with a place she could go, so she was arrested for public intoxication and taken to the RPS cells. 

Video of the detention area was reviewed and it shows the woman came into the police building without a jacket or footwear, said police, who added the entire event is documented in the officers' reports and radio communications. 

That information, along with the GPS data from the vehicle and the video recording from the detention area has been sent to the Public Complaints Commission. 

In the afternoon release, police stressed that officers are unable to disable the GPS equipment in their vehicles and cannot opt out of radio contact without explanation. 

Police said privacy provisions do not allow them to release information about anyone in their cells to the public, even if the person identifies themselves as family.

with files from CBC's Ntawnis Piapot and Lauren Golosky