Surrey Mounties say they are investigating “a complaint of an apprehension involving a case of mistaken identity” after two police officers detained a 16-year-old girl in Newton on April 28.
A viral video posted on Facebook shows two police officers holding the girl face down on the pavement at a Newton bus exchange as she screams expletives at them.
News reports say the girl’s parents are seeking an apology from police. Police have yet to say if that will happen.
“We are working on something right now,” Surrey RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann said Wednesday afternoon. “We have a review process here and it has to work its way through that process.”
The video, by Wednesday afternoon, had 89,588 views.
Viewers should be warned, it contains extremely vulgar language:
One of the officers is heard asking the person filming if they want their camera seized as evidence.
“I know they can’t — I know my rights,” someone offscreen replies.
“Be ashamed of yourself,” the police are told. “This is wrong, man.”
Late Thursday afternoon, the Surrey RCMP issued a press release on the incident, in the 13700-block of 72nd Avenue, saying they were at the Newton bus loop looking for a person who was wanted on a Mental Health Act warrant.
Sergeant Alanna Dunlop said, “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.”
Dunlop noted a formal complaint has been lodged and the Surrey RCMP is “gathering information. Senior investigators have met with the family and continue to be in contact with them.”
Meantime, Superintendent Ed Boettcher, operations officer at the Surrey RCMP, said 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.
“I can assure you that we have resources dedicated to investigating this incident and we are gathering information to address all their concerns.”
Police are asking “anyone with more information” to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
-Tom Zytaruk / Surrey Now-Leader