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Woman sues Richmond RCMP for $350K, alleges wrongful arrest

A woman claims she was arrested in her pajamas outside her home due to a malicious 911 call.
Richmond RCMP's City Centre Community Policing Office on Granville Avenue.

A woman arrested in her pyjamas and slippers outside her Richmond home is suing Richmond RCMP, accusing them of forcibly detaining her.

Xiao Hong Xiao is seeking a total of $350,000 from Richmond RCMP and a police constable in charge of her case in a civil lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court on April 30.

According to the lawsuit, the incident took place on March 17, 2022, when police responded to what Xiao claims is a "malicious and inappropriate call to 911" alleging she possessed a weapon.

"Upon arrival at (Xiao's) dwelling, the defendants, fully armed and without adequate justification, pointed firearms at (Xiao), took away (Xiao's) cellphone, handcuffed (Xiao), and forcibly detained (Xiao into a police car)," reads the lawsuit.

Xiao claims she was coming out of her house at the time of the arrest wearing pyjamas and slippers with her cellphone in hand, "preparing to take some photos of (a) natural scene as she would do in a normal day."

She further claims police searched her home "without obtaining consent or presenting evidence to justify such actions" and she was released without charge after an hour.

"During the whole process, (Xiao) had no chance to ask questions or (explain) her situation or address the allegations made against her," reads the lawsuit.

According to Xiao, she went to the Richmond RCMP community policing office on Granville Avenue on March 28, 2022, about two weeks after the incident, to submit a report with video and audio evidence of what happened and requested police investigate her case.

She also asked that police hold the person who allegedly made the 911 call responsible.

"The defendants failed to take any further action for investigation and didn't give any (response) to (Xiao's) request on March 28, 2022," reads the lawsuit.

Xiao further stated she called and emailed Richmond RCMP in December 2023 to follow up on the investigation outcome and to ask for a copy of the police report, but was allegedly advised to submit an access to information and privacy request instead.

She claims the police used excessive force and violated her rights and seeks a declaration from the court that Richmond RCMP's actions were "unlawful and unconstitutional."

Xiao is seeking damages including $200,000 for emotional stress, trauma and inconvenience, $50,000 for financial losses such as medical expenses, counselling fees and loss of income, and $100,000 for aggravated misconduct.

The Richmond News has reached out to Richmond RCMP for comment but did not hear back by publication deadline.

None of the claims have been proven in court.

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