NEWS

No charges for police over hurt woman at Occupy protest

07/03/2012 03:15 EDT | Updated 09/02/2012 05:12 EDT
Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit does not see reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against a police officer who took part in an arrest that resulted in facial injuries to a woman at an Occupy Toronto protest.

The incident occurred on March 30, when two Toronto police officers arrested an Occupy Toronto protester who was camped outside a downtown courthouse.

According to a statement from the SIU, several other protesters followed the officers while they were walking away with the male who had been arrested for causing a disturbance.

One of the people following the officers, Angela Turvey, 37, was videotaping what the police were doing and arguing with them about their right to seize a bag from the man under arrest.

Security video showed Turvey “getting extremely close to the officers,” the SIU said.

Turvey was told to step back, but refused to do so. One of the officers then attempted to arrest her for interfering with an arrest.

It was at this point that the SIU says Turvey “began to struggle,” with video showing her “swinging her arms twice at the officers.”

Turvey says she was subsequently punched in the face by one of the officers, whom the SIU says “punched her after she punched at him.”

After a brief struggle, Turvey was handcuffed and taken to hospital. The SIU says she suffered “a minimally displaced fracture of the nasal bone, bruising around the eyes and a cut above her right eye which required seven sutures.”

The SIU statement quoted its director, Ian Scott, who said the officer who made contact with Turvey had the “lawful authority” to arrest her when she would not back away from interfering with the other arrest.

Scott said Turvey’s injuries were the result “of either being punched in the face by the subject officer or by her head impacting upon the ground during the arrest process.”

Because the officer had grounds to arrest Turvey and to use reasonable force in doing so, Scott said “it is unclear whether the force used was excessive when the level of Ms. Turvey’s resistance is factored into this dynamic incident,” meaning that there are not reasonable grounds to lay charges.

The SIU investigates all incidents involving police that result in serious injury, death, or allegations of sexual assault.

MORE:cbcNews