Lethbridge police under investigation after young girl allegedly hurt during incident
CALGARY – The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has begun an investigation into an incident involving the Lethbridge police's arrest of a 33-year-old woman where the suspect's daughter was allegedly harmed as a result of the officers' actions.
According to the report, ASIRT says Lethbridge police officers were called to respond to a unit in an apartment building on two separate occasions on Nov. 16.
During the first call, police were told the occupants of the downstairs unit were having an argument and smashing objects.
On arrival, they encountered a 33-year-old woman who claimed she had made the call and told the officer her name.
The LPS arrested another female occupant in the unit, but when they arrived at the police station, they learned the caller had given them a false name and there were outstanding warrants for her arrest.
A short time later, police received another call from the same building from another resident who told them the 33-year-old woman had stolen something and was attempting to damage the building.
When officers arrived the second time, they again confronted the woman who gave them another false name.
Officers told her they knew she wasn't telling the truth and told her she was under arrest.
At that point, the woman ran back inside her unit and officers pursued her. A short struggle took place.
During the officers' attempts to arrest the woman, the suspect's 12-year-old daughter somehow became involved.
The suspect was handcuffed and taken to the police station while the girl was taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
Three days later, the girl, accompanied by her lawyer, attended the LPS headquarters to report that she had been injured during her mother's arrest.
ASIRT has now been directed to conduct an investigation into the arrest.
Lethbridge's chief of police says he is confident the actions of the officers involved were justified.
"I have complete confidence in the training and professionalism of our officers. Transparency is critical in maintaining public trust and we welcome the independent investigation by ASIRT," he said in a release.
No further information about the incident is expected until the investigation has concluded.