British Columbia

Victoria police knee teen girl in ribs during arrest

The Victoria Police Department is reviewing the conduct of two officers after one of them kneed a 16-year-old girl in the ribs and pushed her face into the ground during an arrest.

16-year-old will likely face charge of resisting arrest

Teen kneed by Victoria police RAW

8 years ago
Duration 2:49
Investigation into 2 officers after take down caught on video

A 16-year-old girl was kneed in the ribs and had her face pushed into the ground during an arrest, prompting the Victoria Police Department to review the conduct of two officers.​

The aggressive takedown on Feb. 27 was caught on video by a bystander and posted on Facebook.

The teenager said she had been trying to protect an abandoned dog when she was apprehended. Now she will likely be charged with resisting arrest, and consequently cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. 

"I am really skinny. Do we really need three officers and animal control to put me on the ground? I think that is completely uncalled for," she told CBC News.

"It was so traumatizing, I have never been arrested … it was just cruel and horrible."

The video shows the officers talking to the teenager and then physically subduing her when she becomes agitated. 

According to the teenager, an animal control officer tried to take away the abandoned dog, and when she intervened, the officer also threatened to take away her dog. That's when she said the Victoria police were called in.

"I'm resisting arrest because I was trying to figure out why they had the right to arrest me and take my dog, and they're not answering my questions and they just persist with trying to hurt me."

She was taken into custody and remained there for a few hours.

Police reviewing arrest

Const. Mike Russell said the Victoria police are reviewing the arrest.

"Members will be looking at that video, finding out exactly what happened and making sure it was by the book and that everything was OK," he said.

David Jones, a former police officer, said the takedown was difficult for both the officers and the teenager.

"She was really putting up a fight there and those two big guys were really having a bit of a time trying to restrain her," he said. "And, so at that point when you are not able to contain the person, the best thing to do to stabilize the situation is to get them on the ground fast."

The teenager said she plans to file a complaint with the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. In the meantime, she must remain in Victoria while she awaits her court appearance. 

With files from Richard Zussman

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