Watchdog investigating after 12-year-old girl is injured during arrest by Lethbridge police

LETHBRIDGE, ALTA.—Alberta’s police watchdog has opened an investigation after a 12-year-old girl was injured during an arrest by Lethbridge police.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says officers responded twice on Nov. 16 to a residence in the southern Alberta city.

The first caller reported that occupants in the downstairs unit of a building were screaming and smashing objects, leading police to talk to the 33-year old woman who had called and to arrest another woman who lived downstairs.

When officers returned to the station, they discovered that the caller had given a false name and that she had outstanding warrants for her arrest.

Police say they received a second call from an occupant of the downstairs unit to report that the 33-year old woman had stolen an item and was causing damage to the building.

Officers returned to the residence and arrested the woman, but her 12-year-old daughter was hurt when she got involved as police tried to handcuff her mother.

The girl was taken to hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries and released.

On Nov. 19, a lawyer contacted Lethbridge police to report that the girl had been injured during her mother’s arrest.

That led to the investigation by ASIRT.

Lethbridge police Chief Scott Woods said they are co-operating with the investigation.

“I have complete confidence in the training and professionalism of our officers,” he said in a statement. “Transparency is critical in maintaining public trust and we welcome the independent investigation.”

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