Police are now investigating after a government report found policy was not followed in a case of alleged abuse at an in-patient unit of the Nova Scotia Hospital.

The report states that policy was not followed in how Matthew Meisner, who lives with autism, was treated at Emerald Hall. 

“It's a serious matter and should be regarded as such,” says Tracey Meisner, Matthew’s mother.

Tracey reported the matter to police, who say the matter is being investigated by a member of the general investigative team.

The preliminary report by the Department of Health and Wellness finds policy was not followed after evidence showed Meisner was restrained with his face covered.

The report states two witnesses reported a staff member, who was in charge at the time, called Matthew “That little f----“ and asked, “I wonder if his s--- is retarded?” within earshot of him.

“It's endangering somebody's life,” says Tracey.

The family and other advocates are pleased the case is being investigated by police, but they want more. They would like to see all cases of substantiated abuse automatically forwarded to police.

Former Emerald Hall employee Jeff Kroll reported an assault in 2004, also on Matthew Meisner.

“He spit at the staff member, didn't touch the staff member with the spit, it hit the floor, staff member walked in and kicked him in the face,” says Kroll. “The people that were there were all complacent.”

The staff member was eventually charged and convicted of assault. In a separate incident, another staff member was also convicted of assault on Meisner.

“It was horrible,” says Kroll. “I worked at a place that was at the scene of a crime that was continuing to on go every day.”

Kroll says management at Emerald Hall thanked him for reporting the assault. But staff treated him with aggression and hostility.

“Not one person, not a single person of all that staff on that unit ever came to me and said, ‘What you did was a good thing, Jeff,’” says Kroll. 

He says he couldn't continue to work there and quit. Both he and Matthew Meisner's mother believe Emerald Hall needs to be shut down.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.