Mountie facing assault charge in teen girl's beating
Jamie Haller claims police quickly placed her in handcuffs, 'roughed' her up and placed her in the back of a police cruiser.
Published Wednesday, March 7, 2012 4:21PM PST
Investigators have recommended an assault charge against a Williams Lake RCMP officer who allegedly punched a teenaged girl in the face last summer.
The girl, 17-year-old Jamie Haller, claims she was being chased by gang members on Sept. 10 when she stopped a stranger on the street and asked her to call 911.
But the teenager says the officers who responded handcuffed her, roughed her up and put her in the back of a police car, where she alleges one officer repeatedly punched her in the face.
"I know he must have punched me more than six times," Haller told CTV News in September. "I felt so afraid of the cops, more than I was of the people who were chasing me."
Photos purportedly taken after the arrest shoe Haller with a black eye, cut lip and bruises on the left side of her face.
The Abbotsford Police Department was called to investigate the alleged assault, and described it as "an extremely challenging incident" to probe.
"The pivotal contact between the police officer and the girl took place in the confines of the rear seat of the patrol car," the department said in a release. "That rear seat and the area around the vehicle were in darkness."
Abbotsford investigators say the officer and alleged victim's versions of the events differ, but after reviewing the available evidence chose to recommend a charge against the yet-unnamed member of the Williams Lake RCMP detachment.
Charge approval will be up to the regional Crown counsel in Prince George.
Haller has admitted she got angry after being placed in the police cruiser, and started kicking the car's window. She was taken into custody and released the next day without charge.
The Mountie accused of beating Haller has been placed on non-operational duties.
Insp. Warren Brown, the officer in charge of the Williams Lake detachment, called the assault charge disappointing.
"I hold the members and employees at my detachment to a high level of accountability and demand a high standard of moral and ethical behaviour," he said in a prepared statement.