Video emerges of Canadian police assaulting an indigenous chief in March


In a 12-minute video, the chief and the RCMP are shown arguing. Adam tells an officer he is “tired of being harassed” by the RCMP and swears at him.

At one point, an officer grabs Adam’s wife, prompting Adam to protest. At another, Adam becomes agitated and throws his jacket down. His wife appears to try to calm him.

Later, an officer tries to grab Adam’s arm in an apparent attempt to arrest him. Within seconds, another officer tackles him to the ground and punches him in the face while restraining him.

An officer orders, “Don’t resist!” and applies a chokehold.

Adam yells as his wife and niece prevail upon the officers to stop. When police take him away in handcuffs, his face is bloody.

Wood Buffalo RCMP said in a statement last week that Adam was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. Supervisors reviewed video of the incident, they said, and concluded that the actions of its officers were “reasonable” and did not merit an external investigation.

Alberta’s police watchdog later announced that it would review the incident.

The video was made public on Thursday following a court application to stay Adam’s charges.

Its release comes the same week that RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki has faced criticism for saying in media interviews that while there might be “unconscious bias” among some officers, there is no systemic racism in the national police force.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau disagreed, telling reporters Thursday that systemic racism is an issue in many institutions, including the RCMP. He has been under pressure to offer concrete proposals for addressing the issue.

On Friday, Trudeau described the video as “shocking” and called for an independent investigation.

“We must get to the bottom of this,” he said at a news conference. “Like many people, I have serious questions about what happened.”

Thousands of Canadians have participated in protests against racism and police brutality following the killing of George Floyd and several incidents in Canada involving interactions between police and black and indigenous people.

In Toronto, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old Afro-indigenous woman, died last month after falling from the balcony of her apartment while police were inside. Her family has asked whether officers played a role in her death. Ontario’s police watchdog is investigating.

In Nunavut, an RCMP officer was captured on video knocking down a 22-year-old Inuk man with the open door of his police truck.

Canadians are also demanding answers about the death of Chantel Moore, an indigenous woman who was shot and killed in New Brunswick last week by an officer called to her house for a “wellness check.” Police said that Moore, 26, had a knife and that the officer acted in self-defense.

Activists and some local officials in cities across Canada have called for defunding the police, implementing body cameras and collecting better data about the use of force and the race of those affected.

More than one-third of people fatally shot by RCMP officers in the decade to 2017 were indigenous, according to a document obtained by the Globe and Mail under a public records request. Indigenous people make up roughly 5 percent of Canada’s population.

In a statement Thursday, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation called on the RCMP to suspend the officers involved in the Alberta incident.

“All of this resulted from an expired license plate tag,” it said. “The video speaks for itself.”

Adam told reporters his interaction with the RCMP was not unique.

“Every time our people do wrong, the RCMP, they always seem to use excessive force, and that has to stop,” he said. “Enough is enough.”


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *