Woman suing RCMP over alleged injuries during arrest

·2 min read

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a woman who allegedly suffered injuries at the hands of an RCMP officer during an "unlawful arrest" near Burns Lake.

According to a notice of claim filed May 17, Shelly Lewis suffered a fractured arm, chipped tooth, whiplash and a concussion from a Dec. 6, 2020 incident.

She also claims RCMP searched part of her home and garage without a warrant and that she complied fully with an officer's demand that she stop moving, only to be tackled from behind and slammed to the ground.

Lewis alleges she was arrested without cause and after she was taken to the community's RCMP detachment, she was humiliated during a strip search in front of male officers.

Her complaints of injuries were ignored, Lewis also says.

The lawsuit was filed seven days after B.C.'s civilian-based police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, cleared RCMP of criminal wrongdoing in the matter.

In a summary, the IIO said RCMP had responded shortly after midnight to a report of a man operating a snowmobile while impaired and found him at a home in the 4700-block of Tchesinkut Road East, about 20 kilometres south of Burns Lake.

The man was arrested and taken into RCMP cells without incident. But while an officer waited at the home for a tow truck to pick up the snowmobile, a woman exited the home and attempted to interfere with the evidence, the IIO said.

"The woman was advised that she was under arrest, and a brief interaction occurred before she was taken into custody," the IIO said.

"When the woman was released from police custody, she attended a local hospital and was found to have sustained an injury."

It said the medical evidence was reviewed and it was determined the injury sustained does not meet the threshold required for serious harm as defined by the Police Act.

Lewis, who no longer lives in the area, also claims to have suffered pain to her shoulder, back, chest and jaw as well as post-traumatic stress and is seeking a range of damages.

The defendants in the case have not yet filed responses and the allegations have not been tested in court.

Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting