Stay of proceedings in Burns Lake RCMP and Redwood trial

After three years of trial postponements Burns Lake RCMP requested a stay of proceedings in the Redwood trial.

(L-R) Nathan

(L-R) Nathan

After three years of trial postponements, a stay of proceedings has halted further legal process in the trial between the Burns Lake RCMP and Nathan Redwood, his wife Pamela [Ketlo] and his brother Vincent Redwood.

According to court documents, Burns Lake special Cst. Lori White directed the clerk of the court to enter a stay of proceedings on March 26, 2012.

Nathan said to Lakes District News, “This trial went on for three years and all of a sudden it was dropped. It was postponed so many times, mostly because it was hard to get so many people together and so it was put off and put off.”

He said the incident caused his family a lot of stress and cost them about $10,000 in legal and travel fees.

“At the time I was working at Fort McMurray so I had to travel back to Burns Lake for court dates … I think I have aged 10 years from all of this,” he said.

The incident dates back to a June 28, 2009, altercation at a Tintagel rest stop which resulted in the Burns Lake RCMP tasering of Nathan and the arrests of Nathan, Vincent and Pamela.

The incident began at approximately 1 a.m. at the rest stop. Nathan, Vincent and Pamela, along with friends Joshua Elliot, Danielle Smith, Carolyn Higgenson and Lindsay Reid were reportedly parked in a truck when RCMP arrived and noticed Nathan urinating behind the truck.

From there things escalated and resulted in the arrest and tasering of Nathan, as well as the arrests of Pamela, Vincent and Joshua. At the time of his arrest Nathan alleged that the arresting officers did not act within lawful limits in a number of instances and he alleged that statements the RCMP members made about the incident did not coincide with the events as he witnessed them.

Redwood also alleged that he was not chartered and warned until 3:41 a.m., hours after being placed in the cells at the Burns Lake RCMP detachment. “I had no idea why I was being arrested and held in cells,” he said.

Conflicting statements were also given by Burns Lake RCMP members; Cpl. Rod Hrehirchuck, Cst. Layne Morris and Auxiliary Cst. Peters, as well as Redwood and his friends as the events of the evening and to why and how many times Nathan was tasered.

After the incident Nathan spoke with Lakes District News and said, “There was no freeze, no anything, just the taser.”

He alleged he was tasered two times in the back and hit across the back of the head with an officers baton, the second tasering when he was on the ground in pain followed by the blow to the head.

An investigation of the incident ensued following complaints by Nathan about the incident, however he felt he was not afforded an opportunity for a fair investigation into his allegations, specifically because the RCMP had investigated the conduct of themselves to determine an outcome and subsequently the incident wound up in court.

He recently said to Lakes District News, “I want people to know that bullying and talking down to people is not in an RCMP officer’s job description.”

“Is pushing people to react part of their training? I obeyed all of their verbal instructions that night, but it was just a bullying session with weapons on hand. My wife was thrown in jail for the night and at that time we had a new baby … just three months old, at home. I am glad that this is all over because now my family can carry on with our lives, but what about any consequences for them? What about any recognition about what they did? I was tasered twice in the back and with tasers there is no recording of how many times they were shot,” he said.

“Police are not being monitored on the way they are treating people,” Redwood added.

According to court documents Pamela and Vincent were charged with one count of assaulting a police officer, Nathan was charged with two counts of assaulting police officers, Nathan was charged with mischief in relation to property, the value not exceeding $5,000 and Vincent and Pamela were charged with resisting arrest.

Nathan said to Lakes District News that he is not going to pursue his allegations further with a civil lawsuit.

“This has been too stressful, but I do want people to know that officers shouldn’t treat people this way. There does need to be some consequences for them,” he said.

Lakes District News asked Burns Lake RCMP why there was a stay of proceedings entered and was told that a Freedom of Information request would have to be submitted under the Freedom Information and Protection of Privacy Act.