Chairperson-Initiated Complaint and Public Interest Investigation into the Conduct of RCMP Members during an Interaction in Kinngait, Nunavut, on June 1, 2020
As Chairperson of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ("the Commission"), I am commencing a Chairperson‑initiated complaint into the conduct of RCMP members involved in an incident in Kinngait (formerly known as Cape Dorset), Nunavut, on the evening of June 1, 2020.
A video recording was provided to the Commission, showing an RCMP vehicle being driven in the direction of a man. An RCMP member then opens the driver's side door, which hits the man and knocks him down. That RCMP member, and several other members, then use force to arrest the man.
The Commission received additional information indicating that after the man was placed in a cell at the RCMP detachment, another detainee allegedly assaulted him. The man suffered injuries and was airlifted to Iqaluit for treatment.
The Commission's mission is to deliver a robust complaint process that holds the RCMP accountable for its activities and the conduct of its members. The Commission does so in an independent and impartial manner that is accountable to Canadians.
Under section 45.59(1) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act ("the RCMP Act"), I believe that there are reasonable grounds to investigate the conduct of RCMP members, or other persons appointed or employed under Part I of the RCMP Act, in relation to this incident.
The Commission will be conducting the investigation into my complaint pursuant to section 45.66(1) of the RCMP Act. Specifically, the investigation will address:
- The circumstances leading up to the incident in question;
- Whether the conduct of the RCMP member driving the vehicle was reasonable in the circumstances;
- Whether the arrest of the man was reasonable in the circumstances;
- Whether the use of force employed by RCMP members during the man's arrest was reasonable in the circumstances;
- Whether the man required and received adequate medical care following the initial incident;
- The circumstances surrounding the man's alleged assault while in custody, whether reasonable steps were taken to ensure his safety, and whether the conditions of detention in the cell were adequate;
- Whether the man received adequate medical care following the incident in the cell;
- The actions taken by the RCMP in response to this matter.
The RCMP members' conduct will be assessed in accordance with relevant law and RCMP policy. Consideration will also be given as to whether racial bias and/or discrimination played a role in the man's arrest and subsequent treatment.
I will notify the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, as well as the RCMP Commissioner, of my decision to initiate this complaint.
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