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SIRT: No charges for Halifax police officer for breaking teen's arm during arrest

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- Nova Scotia's Serious Incident Response Team investigates cases involving police in the province.
HALIFAX, N.S. —

Nova Scotia’s police watchdog has cleared a Halifax Regional Police officer of all charges for breaking a teenager’s arm during her arrest at a Dartmouth residence in January. 

In a news release Thursday, the Serious Incident Response Team said Halifax Regional Police responded to a complaint of a disturbance between a 17-year-old girl and her mother at a residence in Dartmouth on the night of Jan. 22. 

The mother wanted her daughter, “who was being verbally abusive towards her and her boyfriend,” removed from the home. 

The responding officer heard shouting and screaming coming from inside the home when he arrived, SIRT said. When he went inside, he saw the girl screaming and cursing at her mother.

“The officer tried to defuse the situation by calmly walking to the parties, but was unsuccessful,” SIRT said, adding the girl would not calm down and was becoming “physically aggressive” toward the mother’s boyfriend. 

A second officer responded to the scene after the first officer radioed for help. 

Both officers tried to calm down the girl, but “she refused to co-operate and began kicking items in the kitchen area and moving away from the officers,” SIRT said. 

“The officers held on to her arms and attempted to place her in handcuffs, but she resisted and lunged forward kicking items and moving towards her mother’s boyfriend.” 

SIRT said the officers then tried to put her arms behind her back to arrest her for breaching the peace, but she continued to resist.

“The (officer) pushed on (the girl’s) shoulder as he was trying to pull her arm behind her back when he heard a pop and immediately released the pressure on her arm.” 

An ambulance was called and the girl was taken to hospital, where X-rays showed that she had a broken bone in her upper arm.

“The evidence showed the police had the right to arrest the youth and that they used reasonable force to carry out that arrest,” SIRT said in its ruling.

“Unfortunately, the (girl) suffered a broken arm during the struggle. In these circumstances there are no grounds to consider charges against the officer.” 

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