ASIRT finds no connection between broken ribs, interaction with Calgary police

Alberta Serious Incident Response Team. File/Global News

There is “no evidence” a woman’s broken ribs came from an interaction with the Calgary Police Service, according to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).

The 2018 incident wasn’t reported to the CPS professional standards section (PSS) — which investigates complaints about officers — until mid-2019, who then reported the incident to ASIRT six months later.

ASIRT was only able to speak with one individual: the homeowner who’s home the incident took place.

On June 28, 2018, police were called to a home to ask a woman to be removed from the residence. The woman refused to leave after speaking with the officers. The officers removed her from the home.

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The woman told PSS she had consumed some alcoholic coolers. Officers’ notes ASIRT accessed said the woman was “drunk and uncooperative.”

Police said she went lump and refused to move, so officers carried or dragged her out. Officers also noted the woman had two outstanding warrants on traffic matters.

Click to play video: 'ASIRT investigates EPS officer’s use of force'
ASIRT investigates EPS officer’s use of force

“Once the (woman) was told she was free to leave, she said, ‘f–k you’ and swung a punch at (an officer),” the ASIRT report reads. “He blocked the punch and put the (woman) to the ground with a single chest strike. He then handcuffed the (woman).”

A second officer’s notes provided “limited detail” but confirmed the woman went limp, and was yelling and swearing at the officers, ASIRT said. After the second officer went inside to collect the woman’s belongings, the first officer told him about the attempted punch.

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The woman told PSS the officers were “rough” when they took her out of the home, but was not punched or thrown into a wall. She recalls them putting her into the back of the police vehicle.

According to ASIRT, on July 17, 2018, the woman went to a doctor and three days later an x-ray showed two fractured ribs.

“She was unsure when she received this injury but thought that it might have happened when the subject officers put her into the back of the police vehicle,” ASIRT’s report said.

The homeowner did not see what happened to the woman once removed from the home but recalled seeing the woman on the ground outside at one point – officers were not near her at the time.

ASIRT determined the officers used appropriate force, as prescribed in the Criminal Code, in removing the woman from the home.

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“This evidence includes the reason for the strike, which is defensive. On that version, the defensive strike is proportionate, necessary, and reasonable. There is no evidence to doubt this version,” ASIRT wrote.

The police watchdog concluded there was “no evidence to connect the broken ribs to the
subject officers’ actions that day exists.

“Further, the uses of force by the subject officers were valid in the circumstances.”

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