Calgary

Police watchdog investigates after 12-year-old injured during mom's arrest

Alberta's police watchdog is investigating after a 12-year-old girl was injured while Lethbridge police were arresting her mother.

Lethbridge's police chief says he welcomes the investigation

ASIRT is investigating after a preteen was injured last week during an altercation while Lethbridge police were arresting her mother. (Sarah Lawrynuik/CBC)

Alberta's police watchdog is investigating after a 12-year-old girl was injured while Lethbridge police were arresting her mother.

Police responded to a call at a Lethbridge home on Nov. 16, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team wrote in an emailed release.

The caller, a 33-year-old woman, had provided her name to police and said occupants of the downstairs unit in her building were screaming and smashing objects.

Police arrived and arrested the female occupant downstairs. But when officers returned to the station, they found the caller had provided a fake name and had outstanding warrants for her arrest.

Later the same day, police received a call from an occupant of the downstairs unit who said the 33-year-old woman, who had called in earlier, had stolen an item and damaged the building.

Officers came to the residence again and found the 33-year-old in the process of trying to damage the building. 

She gave a fake name again, ASIRT said, and when officers informed her she was under arrest, she ran inside.

Struggle ensued

Inside the building, there was a physical struggle to arrest and handcuff the woman. Then her 12-year-old daughter became involved.

The 33-year-old was eventually arrested after several minutes, police said. Her daughter was taken to hospital, treated for minor injuries and released.

Three days later, on Nov. 19, the girl and her lawyer went to police headquarters to report that she was injured during her mother's arrest.

ASIRT will investigate the officers' actions during the arrest, while Lethbridge police will continue to investigate the original two calls.

"I have complete confidence in the training and professionalism of our officers. Transparency is critical in maintaining public trust, and we welcome the independent investigation by ASIRT," Lethbridge police Chief Scott Woods said in an emailed release.

ASIRT said no further information will be released until its investigation is complete.