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Calgary woman arrested for assaulting an officer sees charges dropped after video released

Two Calgary police officers are seen kneeling and leaning on a woman during an arrest in October 2019.
Two Calgary police officers are seen kneeling and leaning on a woman during an arrest in October 2019. Courtesy: David Chow

A Calgary woman whose violent arrest was captured on video is no longer facing charges of assaulting an officer and intending to resist arrest.

According to a complaint filed under the Police Act, Tara Yaschuck was arrested on Oct. 22, 2019, after calling 911 to report a stolen vehicle.

Video of arrest subject of ‘excessive force’ complaint against Calgary police
Video of arrest subject of ‘excessive force’ complaint against Calgary police

In a video of the incident taken by Yaschuk’s son and supplied by her lawyer David Chow, the officers are seen heading up the stairs and into a bedroom where they encounter Yaschuk, who questions who let them inside.

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Her son responds saying no one let them in, “they walked in without permission.”

Yaschuk is seen touching the officer’s shoulder before he pushes her back toward the wall and can be heard saying, “Seriously, I’m going to arrest somebody.”

Read more: Calgary police chief addresses video of police kneeling on woman during arrest

That officer then attempts to arrest Yaschuk by grabbing her left wrist, and when she resists, a struggle ensues, and eventually, they both fall onto the ground. The video shows both officers kneeling and leaning on top of a struggling Yaschuk as they try to handcuff her.

She continues to question the officers on why they’re arresting her, and one responds it’s for assaulting a police officer.

Calgary police respond to controversial video alleging excessive force
Calgary police respond to controversial video alleging excessive force

Charges dropped

A Monday news release from Yaschuk’s lawyer said that the charges have been withdrawn.

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“Some of Ms. Yaschuk’s confidence in the justice system was restored as a result of swift action by the Calgary Crown Prosecutor’s Office,” said Chow. “After reviewing the case, [the Crown] determined that the charge should be withdrawn.”

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Chow said his client shared the incident and video with the public to hold police officers accountable.

“Ms. Yaschuk and her family understand that most police officers do fine work on a day-to-day basis,” said Chow. “Therefore, she does not wish what transpired in her case to tarnish the good work of the many officers who serve the public.”

Chow said that Yaschuk is still struggling with how the arrest took place.

A complaint has been filed with the Calgary’s Professional Standards Section, citing assault, excessive use of force and criminal acts on the part of the arresting officers.

Calgary police chief aware of video showing alleged excessive force
Calgary police chief aware of video showing alleged excessive force

In a statement to Global News, a Calgary Police Service spokesperson confirmed that a complaint was made to the Professional Standards Section.

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“A thorough investigation will be conducted using all available evidence including video from the incident captured by the family,” read the statement. “We will keep the complainant up to date with the investigation on a regular basis.”

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CPS declined to comment further citing the ongoing investigation.

Chow said the complaint has not been completed and no charges have been laid against the officers.

– With files from Heide Pearson