Kelowna RCMP officer hit with second suit alleging excessive force

Officer faces 2nd civil suit

A Kelowna RCMP officer is facing another civil lawsuit, after a second Kelowna resident alleged the officer's excessive force led to her breaking a bone. 

On Monday, Judith Reid filed notice of civil claim against Const. Julius Prommer over a February 2018 incident that allegedly left her with a broken leg, although the officer has disputed Reid's claims.

In her suit, Reid says her upstairs neighbour called police on the evening of Feb. 28, 2018 over her doing exercises in her room. Const. Prommer arrived at her home at about 10:45 p.m.

Reid says when she opened her door and saw the officer, she went to her room, grabbed her phone and told the officer she would be recording the conversation.

“Without any invitation or provocation, Prommer entered the plaintiff's room and forcibly kicked the back of the plaintiff's leg,” Reid's suit states. “As a result of Prommers' assault on the plaintiff, the plaintiff fell to the floor of her bedroom in excruciating pain.”

Prommer allegedly then handcuffed Reid and attempted to drag her up back onto her feet. When it became clear she was injured, an ambulance was called and Reid was taken to Kelowna General Hospital, while handcuffed the whole time.

Reid says she was never informed what she was being arrested for. No charges were ever laid against her.

The Independent Investigations Office, the independent civilian body that investigates officer-related injuries or deaths, ruled Const. Prommer did not use excessive force during the incident, based on the officer's and other witnesses' testimonies. Const. Prommer told the IIO he had grabbed Reid's arm and told her she was under arrest for disturbing the peace, when she pulled away and tripped over her own leg. The officer said he fell on top of her during the incident.

A witness told the IIO that they heard Const. Prommer tell Reid she was "under arrest for disturbance of the peace."

In her suit, Reid says she agreed to be processed at the Kelowna RCMP detachment, after waiting at the KGH emergency department for some time, on the assurance she would be returned to the hospital afterwards.

Reid says was taken to the detachment and put in the “drunk tank,” despite having no alcohol in her system.

When she was finally released from custody, Reid says she had been detained for eight hours. She was taken back to KGH, where an X-ray revealed she had a Tibial Plateau fracture. She required surgery on her leg.

Reid claims she attempted to make a formal complaint to Prommer's supervisor following the incident, who informed Reid that the officer's actions were justified.

The IIO noted that despite knowing Reid had suffered a serious injury, the officer never reported the incident to the IIO. Even after Reid made her formal complaint to the RCMP on March 12, the IIO was not notified until Reid reported the incident to the IIO herself four weeks later.

Reid claims she still suffers from ongoing anxiety, nightmares, sleepless night and depression as a result of Const. Prommer's actions.

She says she became aware that she had a “legitimate claim” against Prommer and the RCMP after reading Castanet's story about Dustin Blondin's suit against Const. Prommer, stemming from a September 2020 incident that left Blondin with a broken hand. The IIO is currently investigating that incident. The IIO did not announce it was investigating the Blondin incident until four weeks after it occurred, following Castanet's publishing of the story.

Neither Prommer nor the RCMP have filed responses in civil court to Reid or Blondin's suits. None of the allegations against Prommer has been proven in court. 

Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet of the Kelowna RCMP told Castanet they must "respect the civil court process," but notes the incident was examined by the IIO and through the RCMP public complaint process.

"In both cases, the officer was found to have acted within the scope of his duties and used only the amount of force as was necessary," Shoihet said. "We welcome further examination of the facts through the civil court

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