Manitoba

No charges for Brandon officer accused of shoving, tightly cuffing woman during mental health transfer: IIU

A Brandon police officer will not face charges after Manitoba's police watchdog determined there wasn't "any substance to the allegations" that the officer harmed a mental health patient during a transfer to hospital.

Independent Investigation Unit says there wasn't 'any substance to the allegations'

Manitoba's police watchdog interviewed video footage and spoke with the complainant during its investigation of a complaint about a Brandon Police Service officer. (Riley Laychuk/CBC)

A Brandon police officer will not face charges after Manitoba's police watchdog determined there wasn't "any substance to the allegations" that the officer harmed a mental health patient during a transfer to hospital.

The Brandon Police Service notified the Independent Investigation Unit on April 25 that a woman alleged an officer handcuffed her so tightly that her hand turned purple during a transfer to Brandon Regional Health Centre sometime between Feb. 9 and 13.

The woman, who was transferred under the Mental Health Act, also accused the officer of shoving her to the floor at the hospital, an IIU news release said on Wednesday.

The IIU, which investigates serious allegations involving Manitoba police officers, interviewed the woman and reviewed surveillance footage from within Brandon police headquarters and the police cruiser from Feb. 12. 

The woman had contact with BPS more than 30 times in the first four months of the year, mainly tied to mental health incidents, and was transported to the hospital in Dauphin several times by Brandon police, the IIU final report says. On two occasions — Feb. 9 and 13 — the same officer had custody of the woman at the Brandon hospital, the report says.

The IIU tried to get footage from the Brandon hospital of the alleged incident when the woman was shoved to the floor there, but hospital staff said the camera was damaged days earlier by another patient and no video was available.

In an IIU interview with the woman, she repeated the allegation that she was handcuffed too tightly, but did not reference or provide additional information about the alleged shoving incident in the hospital that she initially reported to Brandon police.

The IIU said a review of BPS footage from Feb. 12 shows the woman arrive at police headquarters, and shortly after she is handcuffed and walked down a hall and out of frame. She didn't appear in distress at the police station, the IIU report says.

The woman appears calm in video from within the police cruiser during the 10 minutes when she's being taken to the Brandon hospital, still in handcuffs, the report says.

"Both the BPS officer and AP appear calm and courteous towards each other the entire time of the recording," the IIU report says.

Independent Investigation Unit civilian director Zane Tessler determined there was no substance to the allegations and it wasn't necessary to interview any Brandon police officers as part of the investigation.

The IIU investigation is now closed.

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