A fight broadcast on Facebook will likely result in one of the parties involved being charged with assault.
Cpl. John Stuart, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said Thursday police are recommending charges stemming from an incident in which a Wellington Grade 11 student was allegedly attacked by another student during a meeting that took place off the school grounds Sept. 15.
The incident was recorded, set to music and posted on Facebook. The original post has since been removed at the request of the student’s mother Julie Neufeld, but copies of the footage are still floating around on social media.
The student allegedly suffered a number of injuries from the assault, which shows her being struck and her head being repeatedly pushed into the ground.
Stuart said the police are waiting for a medical report detailing the injuries and the content of the video, at least on the surface, appears to bear enough evidence to recommend charges.
“I mean, who knows if there’s a 10-minute altercation before this. I don’t know,” Stuart said. “All I know is what’s on the video … so, you know, that would be enough to forward to the Crown to recommend charges, which is what we’re doing in this case.”
Neufeld had asked police to order the video of the attack removed from Facebook on the basis that it further victimized her daughter, but police have no authority to have the video scrubbed from the web.
“I don’t have the authority to have Facebook, which isn’t even in Canada, to remove something from their website,” Stuart said. “They’re the ones who have the authority to get that removed and you have to go through their processes to do that.”
Stuart said it is not illegal to record a fight and spinoff charges for witnesses would only result if they had lured the victim into the situation or actively egged on the combatants.
Nanaimo Mounties also investigated an assault of a John Barsby Secondary School student in May that was posted on Facebook. Two teen girls were arrested and charged with assault after a fight between three girls near a bus stop behind Woodgrove Centre in March 2011 was also posted online.