Police did nothing wrong in arrest of Brooke Watson; Public Complaints Commission
REGINA – The Public Complaints Commission (PCC) has finished its investigation into a complaint alleging Regina Police drove a woman outside of the city while she was in custody.
Brook Watson alleged that the Regina Police service took her into custody outside of her apartment, were verbally abusive and took her coat, shoes, keys and cell phone without returning them, and drove her outside of the city limits.
“We were getting rather hateful comments from people all over the world,” said Police Chief Troy Hagen. “It wasn’t a good time for our community for two weeks. I just remind everyone, just because something is on social media does not necessarily make it true.”
After a thorough investigation into these serious accusations against the Regina Police, the PCC came to the conclusion the allegations are false and no further investigation is needed.
“The officers conducted themselves appropriately and professionally in the circumstances,” PCC Chair Brent Cotter said.
The role of the PCC was to ensure both the public and police get an impartial investigation. In a letter to the complainant, the PCC said it found no grounds for criminal charges to be laid because she was heavily intoxicated at the time.
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“Her concerns were inaccurate but they were not malicious. I think she had, just given her own circumstances, a misunderstanding of what happened that evening,” Cotter added.
Bob Hughes with the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism hopes this incident doesn’t deter others from coming forward with valid complaints.
“Comfortable to make complaints without thinking ‘geez if I can’t prove this I could get charged’,” said Hughes.
Hughes said Watson’s mother, who originally posted the allegations to Facebook, acknowledges that social media wasn’t the correct avenue to air complaints.
“It really hurt her a lot because her credibility has been called into question,” said Hughes.
One reasons why this story resonated with people in Saskatchewan is the allegations echoed the so-called Starlight Tours in Saskatoon in 1990, where young First Nations men were dropped out of town by police officers.