NEWS

N.L. Police Kicked, Insulted Woman During Arrest: Witness

09/05/2011 08:33 EDT | Updated 11/05/2011 05:12 EDT

A man in Corner Brook says he witnessed a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer assault a woman during an arrest Saturday night.

Frank Ledrew said he was on Broadway, one of the key streets in downtown Corner Brook, when he saw the woman break down emotionally.

He said the woman, 45, who is from Ontario, had just received a phone call informing her that her son had been murdered there.

Ledrew said the woman lay on the ground, kicking her legs in the air and screaming, and was hysterical as two RNC officers arrived on the scene.

"They moved in on her quickly," Ledrew told CBC News.

"I heard one officer claim, 'You kicked me. I'm arresting you for assaulting a police officer.' And then with one great big boot, gave her a kick and called her a slut."

The RNC has not commented on Ledrew's allegations.

The constabulary had said earlier they had responded to a report of an intoxicated woman in the area, and had charged the woman with assaulting a police office and with mischief under $5,000 for damage caused to a police vehicle.

Ledrew said that when he told the officers he was a witness to the arrest, he was threatened with arrest for interfering with police.

Ledrew said the scene disturbed him as it unfolded.

"I saw a woman in distress [and a] hysterical nervous breakdown," he said in an interview. "I saw a police officer kick her, call her a slut and throw her into the back of a cruiser."

Ledrew told CBC he plans to file a complaint with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Public Complaints Commission.