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Rally outside OPP office
Supporters of a woman whose leg was broken during an arrest by an Orillia OPP officer in 2013 are calling for a new investigation into the incident.
In April of 2013, 48-year-old Tonie Farrell’s leg was broken during an interaction with a police officer in downtown Orillia.
Originally, Farrell was charged in the case with assaulting a peace officer.
However, charges against her were subsequently dropped and the judge instead pointed the finger at the police officer in question, Sergeant Russell Watson.
He was never charged in the incident, and two independent reviews – including one by the Ontario Special Investigations Unit (SIU), found no wrongdoing on his part.
The SIU has not explained the reasons for its findings.
A group of small but determined protesters say they now want a new investigation to clear the air.
“We care and we are concerned,” said protester Anita Pierce. “Hopefully we can also let civilians know that we care and that we need to stand up and make people realize that this kind of stuff is not allowed and it should not be allowed.”
The SIU says they’re currently reviewing the judgement and transcripts from Farrell’s original case, and will not comment further until that review is complete.
“The OPP will certainly wait to hear what comes from the review,” said OPP Sergeant Peter Leon. “When they've completed their investigation we will certainly deal with the situation at that time.”
In the meantime, Sergeant Watson remains on duty in Orillia.