Nanaimo Mountie charged with assault

NANAIMO – Internal and criminal investigations ordered after allegation of excessive force used during fingerprinting.

A Nanaimo RCMP constable faces an assault charge following an incident at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment in August.

The constable allegedly used excessive force while fingerprinting  a 47-year-old woman in the detachment cell block Aug. 17.

The woman was not injured during the altercation and did not require medical assistance.

The incident was reported by another RCMP member.

Supt. Norm McPhail, officer in charge of the Nanaimo detachment, ordered an  RCMP internal code of conduct investigation and a criminal code investigation after he was informed of the incident in early September.

“I would describe the incident in general as a verbal and physical control of an individual and, basically, in terms of my substantiating the code of conduct [investigation], is unnecessary and unwarranted force,” McPhail said.

McPhail said cell block surveillance video footage was reviewed as part of the investigation.

The criminal code investigation was forwarded to Crown counsel and on Monday a charge of assault was sworn against Const. Derek Brown. Brown will appear in court March 6.

The woman was arrested following a theft complaint, but Brown was not the arresting officer.

Brown has four years’ service with the RCMP, all in Nanaimo, and was working as a general duty officer at the time of the incident. McPhail said there have been no prior incidents involving Brown.

He remains on administrative duties and will have no interaction with the public pending the outcome of both the criminal and internal processes.

“Police officers are not above the law,” McPhail said in a press release. “Where there are allegations of excessive force, those allegations will be investigated and the police officer will have to account for the level of force used.”


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