THE Mounties always get their man – so the saying goes.
Only this time, Surrey RCMP got the wrong girl.
So now the force are investigating a complaint of an apprehension involving a case of mistaken identity in the 13700 block of 72nd Avenue.
On April 28, Surrey RCMP attended the Newton bus loop after information was received regarding an individual who was wanted on a Mental Health Act warrant. There were concerns for this individual’s health, safety and well-being. Officers subsequently located someone matching the description and apprehended a female at this location. Once it was learned that it was not the correct person, the 16-year-old female was released immediately.
The girl was black and her family that came here from Haiti have lived in Surrey for nearly two decades. They have been in a state of shock at the way the girl was handcuffed and forced to lay on the ground by two big Mounties while she was heading for a job interview. The cops finally let her go after checking out her ID and left without an apology. A video of the incident was shot by a bystander and posted on Facebook.
The man who shot it told CTV that there was no question that police went too far. He’s heard in the video saying, “You guys threw her down. There’s two of you, one teenage girl.” The girl said the Mounties did not even ask her for her ID which, she said, she would have shown them.
CTV reported that the teen said she’d asked the cops for their names when they took the handcuffs off, but they left without telling her. The teen’s father was a police officer in Haiti and he is hoping for some decency from the Surrey RCMP such as a public apology.
A formal public complaint has been initiated and Surrey RCMP are gathering information. Senior investigators have met with the family and continue to be in contact with them.
“It is extremely unfortunate that this situation occurred and we are certainly mindful of her young age and how upsetting this was for her and her family,” says Superintendent Ed Boettcher, Operations Officer at Surrey RCMP. “I can assure you that we have resources dedicated to investigating this incident and we are gathering information to address all their concerns.”
Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.