Chairperson-initiated complaint into the arrest and detention of Ryley Bauman
- News Release
November 29, 2022
As Chairperson of the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ("the Commission"), I am initiating a complaint regarding the arrest and detention of Ryley Bauman in St. Albert, Alberta, on October 2, 2022, by RCMP members.
On the afternoon of October 2, 2022, 16-year-old Ryley Bauman was reportedly playing in a park behind his grandparents' house in St. Albert, Alberta, when he was arrested by the RCMP. The police allegedly placed Ryley in handcuffs, put him in a police vehicle, and took him to a holding cell.
The RCMP said that they made the arrest after receiving multiple 911 calls about a man who was "exhibiting erratic behaviour" near a playground. The RCMP also indicated that the 911 callers believed that Ryley was an adult male who was impaired by drugs. The detachment commander later confirmed that Ryley was cooperative with police, but the involved RCMP members decided to arrest him when he could not tell them his name and walked away from police.
According to the RCMP, Ryley engaged in self-harm while in the police vehicle, and again when he was lodged in cells. The RCMP called emergency medical services (EMS). Paramedics attended, sedated Ryley, and transported him to the hospital. Upon assessment, Ryley was diagnosed with soft-tissue injuries to his head, face, back and wrists.
In a statement Ryley's family gave to the RCMP, they expressed anger over his arrest and the fact that the RCMP apparently could not recognize someone presenting with autism. They were also concerned that Ryley had received drugs (sedation) while in police custody.
Given the foregoing, as well as the Commission's continuing interest in police policy, training, and practice relating to the treatment of vulnerable populations, I am satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to initiate this complaint in the public interest.
Accordingly, pursuant to subsection 45.59(1) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act (RCMP Act), I am today initiating a complaint into the conduct of all RCMP members or other persons appointed or employed under the authority of Part I of the RCMP Act involved in this incident, specifically:
- Whether the response to this call for service was reasonable, including whether the arrest of Ryley was reasonable in the circumstances;
- Whether reasonable accommodations were provided to Ryley throughout the entire incident in light of his neurodiversity, as required under the Canadian Human Rights Act;
- Whether reasonable steps were taken to prevent Ryley from self-harming while in police custody;
- Whether Ryley's continued detention in police custody was reasonable in the circumstances;
- Whether reasonable steps were taken to provide medical care to Ryley;
- Whether there was reasonable supervision provided in the circumstances;
- Whether the RCMP has reasonable national and divisional policies, procedures and guidelines pertaining to interactions with people with neurodiversity;
- Whether the RCMP provides reasonable training to its members on recognizing and interacting with neurodiverse people, including whether RCMP members are trained to distinguish intoxication by alcohol or drugs from disabilities including neurodiversity;
- Whether the RCMP provides reasonable training and equipment to prevent or reduce self-harming behaviour by people in custody.
As per the provisions of the RCMP Act, the RCMP will carry out an investigation into this complaint and provide the Commission with a report. The Commission will then review the report to determine whether it is satisfied with the RCMP's response. The Commission's analysis and findings will be issued publicly in its final report.
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