Nunavut RCMP order probe after video shows suspect hit by police vehicle door

Nunavut RCMP order probe after video shows suspect hit by police vehicle door

CAPE DORSET, Nunavut — Nunavut RCMP say a Mountie is under investigation after a video surfaced that appears to show an officer knocking over a man with the open door of a police pickup truck.

Police say Chief Supt. Amanda Jones, commanding officer of V Division, became aware of the video after it was posted on social media.

The video from Monday night shows a police vehicle slowly approaching a man staggering across a street. The man is hit by the driver’s open door before the driver and three other Mounties struggle with him on the ground.

Police say after watching the video that was shot by a member of the community, Jones ordered an independent external statutory investigation and an internal investigation into the actions of the officer.

RCMP say it raises concerns about how the Mountie from the Kinngait detachment, formerly known as Cape Dorset, made the arrest.

Police say the officer is to be removed from the community located on the southern tip of Baffin Island during the investigation.

“The RCMP takes the conduct of our officers seriously and want to assure the public we have confidence in the process of the external investigation to determine the circumstances of the event and whether criminal charges should be sworn against the officer,” Cpl. Jamie Savikataaq, an RCMP spokesman, said in a release Tuesday.

“As the matter is now subject of an external criminal investigation and an internal conduct investigation, we cannot comment any further at this time.”

Nunavut Justice Minister Jeannie Ehaloak says she has watched the video and is outraged.

“I have seen the video from Kinngait circulating on social media and am very concerned by the unnecessary force, the violence and the lack of respect I have seen,” she says in a release.

“Nunavummiut should not fear this kind of treatment and disregard for safety and basic rights.”

Ehaloak says she has met with RCMP leaders to express her frustration and outrage.

She says she will formally request a review by the Civil Review Complaints Commission once the investigation called for by the RCMP is complete.

The commission is an independent Canadian government agency responsible for examining complaints of improper on-duty conduct by members of the RCMP.

“I want to assure you that I take this very seriously and I am taking decisive actions to address this situation,” she says. ”It is only through accountability that the RCMP will continue to build a strong and healthy relationship with Nunavummiut.”

RCMP say the Mountie who is under investigation was responding to a call late Monday night about a drunken man who was reported fighting with others.

Police say following his arrest the suspect was checked by medical staff while in cells but no details about his medical condition were released.

There was no information released on whether the man has been charged with a crime.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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