No charges for jail cell injury: IIU
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The province’s watchdog says a Manitoba First Nations Police Service officer who pushed an intoxicated woman into a cell, causing her to fall and receive a cut to her head, will not be charged.
A report by Zane Tessler, civilian director of the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, released Friday, concludes the officer did not commit an assault and there are no reasonable grounds for laying any charges.
According to the report, the woman was detained for her own safety and to sober up, after being found intoxicated Aug. 16, 2022, at a residence on Long Plain First Nation.
However, when an officer tried to put the woman into a cell, the woman became upset and began grabbing at the officer’s vest, pulling her flashlight off.
Because the officer was concerned the woman might pull more items off her vest and then attack her, she used both hands to push the woman into the cell. The woman fell backwards, tripping over a toilet and striking her head on a bench causing a cut.
The woman was taken to hospital. Two stitches were used to close the wound.
The IIU investigators not only watched video of the incident, but interviewed the woman.
She told them she didn’t believe the officer acted out of anger or wanted to injure her but was just trying to get her into the cell, the IIU said.
Tessler said the woman shouldn’t have put her hands on the police officer and her actions amounted to an assault.
“(The officer) was justified in defending herself, using reasonable force to repel (the woman) and use necessary force to secure her in the cell,” he said.
The matter is now closed, IIU said.