Man injured during arrest suing RCMP

·2 min read

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a man who is claiming Prince George RCMP used force so excessive he suffered a broken hip during an arrest.

Tyler John Alexander is also claiming he was left in police cells overnight despite his cries of pain and pleas from a cellmate to a guard on duty.

About seven hours after he was put in cells, Alexander was taken by ambulance to hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair a fractured hip, according to a notice of claim filed at the Prince George courthouse on May 11 and two years to the day since the incident.

Alexander is seeking a range of damages, saying he suffered a loss of income due to a inability to work as a result of the injury. He also suffered physical and psychological damage, including nervous shock, from which he has not fully recovered, as a result of the officers' conduct, according to the notice of claim.

In March, B.C.'s civilian-based police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, cleared the officers involved of any criminal wrongdoing.

In a summary issued at the time, the IIO said an RCMP officer stopped a man near the intersection of Fith Avenue and Douglas who had been weaving between lanes and not wearing a helmet while riding a bike.

"The officer stopped the cyclist to issue a violation ticket and subsequently attempted to arrest the man for unrelated offences," the IIO said in the statement. "A struggle ensued a short distance away on Alward Street, and the man sustained a serious injury while being taken into custody.

"The man was transported to RCMP cells, and medical attention was provided the following morning."

Based on the evidence, including statements from the affected person and several witnesses, medical evidence, detachment video and police records, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any officer has committed an offence, the IIO said.

However, it added that it has raised concerns with the RCMP regarding prisoner care that fall outside of the IIO’s mandate.

"As this process is ongoing, the IIO will not be issuing its usual public report or commenting on the matter further until that assessment is concluded," the IIO said.

Charges against Alexander of resisting arrest and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose were stayed in June 2020, according to court records.

The federal and provincial governments and five RCMP officers are named as defendants in the lawsuit. The defendants have not yet filed responses and the allegations have not been tested in court.

Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen