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Woman Sues New Glasgow Regional Police for Excessive Force During Illegal Arrest

KIJPUKTUK, NOVA SCOTIA (27 June 2024)


Michelle Kloet, an Ontario businesswoman, has filed a lawsuit against the New Glasgow Regional Police (NGRP) for excessive use of force during an incident on July 31, 2022. Ms. Kloet asserts that she was unlawfully arrested following false allegations of carrying open alcohol, an incident that has brought attention to systemic violence within policing and the need for improved law enforcement responses.


On what began as a peaceful evening outside the Riverfront Jubilee in New Glasgow, Ms. Kloet's night took an unexpected turn, resulting in a violent arrest. She was with two friends when a New Glasgow Regional Police (NGRP) officer noticed one of her friends holding an alcoholic beverage. The officer aggressively arrested Ms. Kloet’s friend, causing her to cry out in pain. When Ms. Kloet asked the officer to loosen his grip and requested his badge number, she herself was arrested by Sgt Jason MacKinnon for carrying open alcohol, despite having no alcohol in her possession.


During the arrest, Sgt MacKinnon forced her to the ground, pressed her face to the pavement, and kneeled on her back before handcuffing her. She was transported to the police station where she was repeatedly searched, her belongings were confiscated, and she was locked in a cell for several hours. She was charged with resisting arrest.


The injustice continued throughout the criminal proceedings. Prior to trial, Ms. Kloet, representing herself, was told by Crown J. Patrick Young that her belief in her innocence was “a figment of her imagination”, a statement contrary to his ethical duties as outlined in s. 5.1-3 of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society’s Code of Conduct. At the close of the Crowns case, Judge Atwood questioned whether the Crown had met its burden of proof. Despite acknowledging his own legal oversight, as well as the officer’s error in arresting Ms. Kloet, the Crown submitted further arguments to push for a conviction. In October 2023, a Provincial Court Judge dismissed the charge against Ms. Kloet, ruling that Sgt. MacKinnon was not lawfully executing his duty when he arrested her.


PATH Legal is suing the New Glasgow Regional Police on behalf of Ms. Kloet, alleging excessive use of force and claiming that police negligence and misconduct caused significant harm and losses. The suit claims that the NGRP violated several sections of the Police Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Despite seeking recourse through the regular complaint process, Ms. Kloet faced considerable bureaucratic roadblocks, and her complaint was never investigated.


According to Ms. Kloet “police officers have a duty to maintain public trust while conducting investigations, laying charges, and making arrests. We, as citizens, also have a duty to ensure our systems are held to accountable for unlawful conduct. This includes pursuing civil action against the police when they abuse their power against citizens. I hope my lawsuit inspires other citizens to step forward when police officers violate their rights.”

This lawsuit underscores the urgent need for enhanced accountability, de-escalation, and improved conduct in law enforcement.


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For media inquiries or further information, please contact:


Mukisa Kakembo

Staff Lawyer, PATH Legal

(902) 707-6460

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