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Victim of alleged RCMP assault shocked no charges laid
A Nanaimo woman is shocked no charges were laid against two Nanaimo RCMP officers following an alleged police brutality incident in March.
Camilla McGuire, 53, alleged she was struck in the face by one of the RCMP members who responded to her homeon Cedar Road March 2.
The officers attended after McGuire called paramedics to help her son, 20, who suffers from depression and anxiety.
An altercation broke out between McGuire, her son and police. McGuire alleges she was struck in the face, cuffed and put in a choke hold by one of the officers and that she suffered six fractures to her face and teeth, which required emergency reconstructive surgery, and a concussion.
“I have nerve damage still and my face I have titanium plates in it,” she said.
McGuire and her son were arrested, but released that evening.
Nanaimo RCMP called for an independent criminal review, which was handled by several Victoria Police Department investigators.
Victoria Police Department announced Thursday the investigation was concluded with no charges against any of the parties involved.
But McGuire said the investigation is incomplete because neither she, her son nor her husband were ever interviewed.
“As far as I’m concerned this is not a thorough investigation unless you talk to the victim,” she said.
McGuire said her lawyer, Cameron Ward, would not allow police to interview her without him being present.
Const. Mike Russell, Victoria Police spokesman, said investigators attempted to interview McGuire several times.
“We made seven attempts to interview her through her through her lawyer, but were turned down every time,” Russell said. “So it wasn’t for a lack of trying. It was for a lack of co-operation.”
Russell said he does not know why investigators were turned away.
“We want to do the most thorough investigation and get to the bottom of it, but when we’re hamstrung at a certain level of the investigation it really adds frustration for our officers,” Russell said.
He said the paramedics who attended the McGuire home were interviewed, along with numerous other witnesses.
He said the paramedics who attended the McGuire home were interviewed along with numerous other witnesses.
"We put our file to Crown and the charge decision ultimately rests in their hands," Russell said.
Ward said he was surprised to learn that an assault charge would not be laid.
"[The officer] punched an unarmed woman in the face with so much force that she required hospitalization and surgery and is now left permanently traumatized by the attack," he said in an e-mail to the News Bulletin. "My impression is that the police investigation of [the officer's] conduct was a complete sham. The handling of this case reveals once again why police should not be investigating police. I am asking for the Report to Crown Counsel and hope to receive a copy soon.”
Supt. Norm McPhail, Nanaimo RCMP detachment commander, said he wants to reassure the public the RCMP tries to deal with such matters with as much transparency as possible.
“We want the public to be satisfied and confident that we’re doing all that we can do and that if there is any inappropriate behaviour that it’s dealt with swiftly and correctly,” McPhail said. “We’re not the one’s who are the decision makers. We’re the ones being examined and I fully support that transparency and really would like to see that transparency reflected at all levels.”
He said it is also important that his officers know they are supported and not forced to second guess themselves when making decision under difficult or dangerous circumstances.