No Charges For RCMP Officer Who Hit Nunavut Man With Truck Door

December 2, 2020 0 By PENTICTONLAWYERS

Ottawa police have concluded their investigation into an incident that made national headlines in June when a Nunavut man was knocked over by an RCMP officer with the open door of a police pickup truck. 

The Mountie struck him by accident and will not be criminally charged with assault or assault with a weapon, dangerous operation of a vehicle or criminal negligence, Ottawa police said in a statement Tuesday. 

“… The vehicle came to a sliding stop on a snow and ice covered track, the driver’s front tire went off the track, the vehicle dipped forward and the opened driver’s door swung forward and struck the community member,” police said. 

The man’s arrest for public intoxication was also lawful, the investigation concluded. 

The June 1 incident involving five officers in Kinngait, Nunavut was caught on video and sparked outrage across the country about the treatment of Indigenous people and systemic racism within Canada’s largest police force.

Around the same time, other cases of police violence emerged: First Nations Chief Allan Adam was beaten during an arrest by Alberta RCMP. New Brunswick RCMP shot and killed Rodney Levi from Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation. Another police service in New Brunswick shot and killed Chantel Moore, an Indigenous mother, during a wellness check. 

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Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller called for “a full accounting” for police violence against First Nations, Metis and Inuit people. 

“A car door is not a proper police tactic. It’s a disgraceful, dehumanizing and violent act,” Miller said during a news conference June 5.

A Nunavut commanding officer spoke out against the use of force shown in the video. 

“I was very shocked when I saw it,” Chief Supt. Amanda Jones told CBC News June 4. “It’s a behaviour that we do not condone. It is not a practice we teach.” 

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that all police in Canada should wear body cameras and participated in an anti-racism protest on Parliament Hill. 

The RCMP removed the Mountie driving the truck from the community and asked Ottawa police to conduct an independent, external criminal investigation. Two investigators interviewed 10 civilian and police witnesses, examined the video and police truck and attended the scene. 

Nunavut RCMP said in a statement they are still conducting an internal review and the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission has initiated its own investigation.