Whitehorse RCMP has been cleared of allegations it used excessive force when arresting a 57-year-old woman earlier this year.
On January 31, police responded to a call that a person had been assaulted downtown.
Recounting the incident from her Vancouver hospital bed after she lodged the complaint against the Mounties, tent-city founder Helen Hollywood said she had nothing to do with an assault.
But she matched the description police had of the suspect.
Hollywood was having a few drinks in her Alexander Street apartment when she decided to see what was going on outside, she said.
Once she got outside, an officer grabbed her, pulled her arm out of its socket, handcuffed her and then stepped on her, she claimed in February.
At the time, police confirmed that after making the arrest the suspect complained about pain in her arm and she was taken to the hospital.
Police from Lethbridge, Alta., were called to investigate Hollywood’s complaint.
They interviewed Hollywood, the officers and many witnesses, as well as reviewed video footage from the cellblocks and police reports.
There was no witness testimony about the officers using more force than was needed, said Lethbridge Staff Sgt. Ian Sanderson.
And while there was contradictory information from Hollywood, everything was presented to Whitehorse’s Crown prosecutor’s office and it decided the officers did not use excessive force, he said.
There is “not a black and white line,” when it comes to determining what excessive force is, Sanderson added.
Generally, it is decided more by the actions of the person getting arrested, that those of the officers.
In other words, the more an individual resists arrest, the more force is warranted.
In this case, there was a lawful arrest and there was definitely resistance, said Sanderson.