Pubdate: Fri, 18 Mar 2016
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2016 Canoe Limited Partnership.
Author: Tony Blais
Page: 4


She Claims Mounties Performed 'Inappropriate Search' After Patting 
Her Down for Drugs

A woman is suing the RCMP for $100,000 after alleging a male officer 
inappropriately searched near her private parts while looking for 
drugs during a traffic stop near Sherwood Park.

According to a statement of claim filed in Edmonton's Court of 
Queen's Bench on Feb. 23, Jenny Brown, Bob Erb and three others were 
in a vehicle pulled over by the RCMP on the Sherwood Park Freeway on 
Feb. 25, 2014.

Brown, who legally changed her surname from Lemmerick since the 
incident, alleges a Mountie stated during the traffic stop that he 
could smell marijuana and that everybody was under arrest.

The officer then told them to get out of the vehicle and stand with 
their hands on top of their heads, alleges Brown, adding that it was 
very cold outside at the time.

She claims the officer did a frisk search of Erb and one of the other 
passengers before searching her pockets and she told him she was 
uncomfortable being searched by a male officer and asked to have a 
female officer do it.

Brown alleges the officer refused and continued the search, then 
removed a cigarette packet from her pocket in which he found what 
appeared to be half of a marijuana joint.

She claims the officer then immediately grabbed her wrist, twisted 
her arm behind her back and handcuffed her, then walked her towards 
his police vehicle and searched her further.

Brown alleges the officer then reached into her pants and underwear 
and removed a cigarette tin.

"This search was conducted in an improper and unlawful manner and 
constitutes a sexual assault," says the statement of claim.

Statements of defence have not yet been filed. Statements of claim 
contain allegations unproven in court.

Brown claims she was arrested and the police then searched the 
vehicle using a police dog, tearing open and emptying all of the bags 
inside the vehicle and pulling off the inside panels.

According to the statement of claim, which names five Mounties and 
the Attorney General of Canada as defendants, nothing unlawful was 
found in the vehicle and all five were let go after being detained 
for two hours. Brown was charged with possession of marijuana.

Brown and Erb allege both the arrest and the searches were unlawful 
and excessive force was used and say they suffered mental anguish and 
humiliation and now distrust law enforcement officials.

Brown also alleges the second search of her was a serious intrusion 
of her bodily autonomy and has resulted in her suffering flashbacks, 
depression, anxiety and other emotional trauma.

Brown and Erb live together in Terrace, B.C.

In 2012, Erb won $25 million in a Lotto Max draw.

He is a marijuana activist who advocates for the drug to be legalized 
by the federal government.
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