A 26-year-old Hamilton woman says she was injured when a police officer shoved her to the ground when she tried to prevent her friend from being arrested on New Year’s Day.
Megan Carter told Global News she was in Lou Dogs bar on George Street with friends early in the morning Jan. 1 when police came in and arrested Spencer Blizzard, a male friend she was with.
Carter said when she asked the officers why they were arresting Blizzard, they allegedly said he was wanted for some sort of vandalism.
“I saw officers enter the bar and then I saw my friend in handcuffs so I was confused as to why so I asked what was going on,” Carter said. “They said they had suspected him of vandalism.”
She said the police would not tell her what they were charging her friend with and refused to give her their badge numbers.
“So I followed them out of the bar insisting that I needed it because I wanted to follow them down to the station to speak to a supervisor.”
When the officers were driving off with Blizzard, Carter said she slapped the back of the cruiser out of frustration, at which point she said an officer got out and allegedly “threw” her to the ground.
“I’m 90 lbs, I made no attempt to threaten, I never would,” she said.
“I was trying to advocate and protect my friend’s rights and instead mine were violated and I don’t understand why.”
Carter said she suffered a broken elbow, which she has to have surgery on now, a chipped tooth and a facial fracture.
Shortly after, Carter said officers dropped Blizzard off in a parking lot and let him go. She said they aren’t quite sure why.
Meanwhile, other friends drove Carter home, where she said she woke up a few hours later feeling like her arm was “on fire” so she went to the hospital.
She said she called the Hamilton police and spoke to a sargeant who then came to the hospital to speak to her.
Hamilton police confirmed that officers responded to a mischief in progress call and that “during the investigation, there was an interaction with a female.”
They said the Special Investigation’s Unit (SIU), also known as Ontario’s police watchdog, has invoked its mandate.
A statement from the SIU confirmed they are investigating.
“The preliminary information indicates that at approximately 1:20 a.m. on January 1, 2020, Hamilton Police Service officers were dispatched to an address on George Street after receiving a complaint,” the statement read.
“Officers located some persons of interest. One of the individuals later went to hospital for treatment of a serious injury.”
Carter said she will speaking to the SIU and that she’s already reached out to a lawyer. She called the incident a “gross abuse of power” and is thinking about pressing charges.
“How do you call the police on the police?” she said.
The SIU is an independent enforcement agency that investigates incidents involving police that have resulted in death, serious injury or alleged sexual assault.