On March 26 I witnessed a disturbing scenario at the Whitehorse Public Library.
A man came up the stairs covered in blood, clearly in pain and disoriented. I was heading towards him, my approach would have been to sit him down and find out what had happened, get him some preliminary first aid while waiting for the paramedics, but before I could do that a police officer tackled him to the ground.
The interrogation that ensued started with “How much have you been drinking?” and continued from there. The man said he had been stabbed and hit on the head. I saw there was a large pool of blood forming under the man’s head and suggested first aid rather than interrogation, and the librarians came over with a first aid kit.
The police officer was aggressive but did loosely wind some bandages around the man’s head. Fortunately the paramedics arrived and were respectful and I felt he was then in good care.
There was no evidence that there had been any criminal activity on his part calling for the excessive use of force on an injured man by the officer. The neglect of his health and attention to primary interim health care was disturbing.
I may not know extenuating circumstances, but it seemed apparent that the officer didn’t either and was working from a racial profiling framework as the man was First Nation. I hope this will be addressed in retribution for the injured man and sensitivity training for local officers.