South Surrey resident complains of police reaction
A South Surrey woman is alleging police brutality following an incident Monday evening that left her bruised, swollen and “really shaken up.”
“I was so scared… I called 911 on the police,” said Katherine Olsen. “They were just unbelievable.”
According to Olsen, five officers in four police cars showed up at her home around 10 p.m. Sept. 1, advising her they had received a noise complaint concerning music.
She said she was in her backyard with tenant Robert Jennings and a friend when police came through the gate. Olsen said Jennings immediately turned the music down, but police handcuffed him anyway.
Jennings was arrested for obstruction because he failed to identify himself to police, and was being cited for a noise-violation bylaw, Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet said. As well, officers also “noticed the smell of burned marijuana.”
Olsen said when she asked the officers why she was being arrested, she was told it was for marijuana. She said she has a licence for medical marijuana but insists that no one was smoking the drug on the evening in question. She had consumed two alcoholic drinks, she said.
“I did nothing. I was not belligerent, I never swore at them, I did nothing to them. They had no right to do what they did to me.”
Concerned she was next, Olsen said she tried to go inside to call 911. She said she was arrested and put in the back of a police car after asking the officers to leave.
“The second person became agitated and began yelling at officers to leave her property,” Paquet stated. “She was also arrested after failing to identify herself.”
Both were released once they identified themselves, Paquet said.
Olsen said a corporal kicked her when she said she was disabled and had difficulty walking due to being born with missing growth plates in her ankles. And she was handcuffed after explaining she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“He goes, ‘there’s nothing wrong with you,’ and he booted me in my ankle,” a distraught Olsen said, showing her still-swollen joint.
Olsen said she has bruising on her left hand, red marks on her right wrist, and her rotator cuff was torn.
“I told them I had rheumatoid (arthritis) and I was crippled in my feet, they just kept going,” said Olsen. “It was like the more that I told them I was disabled, the more that they did.”
Paquet said “there was no indication” of a physical confrontation during the arrest, though the second person did “push back against (the officer), and at one point broke free from the officer’s grip.”
Olsen is confident home-security video will prove she and Jennings were mistreated.
Friend Rod Noel alleges similar mistreatment happened to him following a car accident, and said he went to Olsen’s Wednesday morning to offer support in speaking out.
"Nobody deserves to be treated like that," Noel said.
Olsen said after 20 minutes in a police car, she was handed a $250 municipal bylaw ticket for the noise.
– with files from Nick Greenizan