Carcross man sues RCMP, officers over 2015 assault

A Carcross man is suing the RCMP officer who assaulted him while handcuffed in the back of a police car back in May 2015.

A Carcross man is suing the RCMP officer who assaulted him while handcuffed in the back of a police car back in May 2015.

Duke Beattie is suing Const. Jason Potter, Const. Daniel Rouleau — the other officer present during the assault — the RCMP and the federal government.

In a statement of claim filed May 12, Beattie claims he suffered physical injuries, depression and anxiety as a result of the assault.

Potter pleaded guilty in August 2015 to assaulting Beattie. He received a conditional discharge and successfully finished his probation earlier this year.

The RCMP fined him during an internal code of conduct hearing and he was moved to the Whitehorse detachment.

On May 15, 2015 Rouleau and Potter arrested Beattie in Carcross for breaching his probation order. They were driving Beattie to the Whitehorse Correctional Centre when Potter stopped the police cruiser, somewhere around Spirit Lake, according to the statement of claim.

Potter grabbed Beattie by the neck and punched him several times in the head while telling him he was going to kill him, the court document reads.

Beattie is also suing Rouleau because he claims the officer was negligent for failing to stop Potter when he started assaulting him.

“Rouleau verbally told Potter to cease his actions during the assault but did not do anything further to attempt to protect (Beattie) from the assault,” the lawsuit reads.

Beattie alleges that when arriving at the WCC he wasn’t offered the chance to call a lawyer.

He also alleges that Potter and Rouleau falsified their police reports.

Rouleau in his first police report claimed it was Potter grabbed Beattie by the neck, the lawsuit reads, while Potter left the incident out altogether.

Rouleau and Potter also wrote in their reports that Beattie threatened them, which was the basis for criminal charges against Beattie. Those charges were eventually dropped by the Crown prosecutor when Potter was charged.

Beattie is asking Yukon Supreme Court for general, special, aggravated and punitive damages.

“The plaintiff also claims damages for malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office by Potter and Rouleau.”

Beattie also claims the government is liable for the officers’ actions because it didn’t train them properly.

During Potter’s sentencing hearing, Yukon territorial court saw videos recorded from the cruiser where the assault took place.

After some time driving Potter stopped the cruiser, opened the passenger door and grabbed Beattie. While it’s clear the officer is assaulting Beattie, it’s not easy to see what exactly he was doing because of how the camera was positioned.

It’s not clear what Beattie said to the officers before the assault because of the poor audio quality of the video that recorded the incident.

At the time of the sentencing hearing Potter’s lawyers argued Beattie had made repeated rape threats against the officer’s wife. They painted the image of an officer under stress, whom the RCMP had allowed to bring his gun home because he feared for his safety. The RCMP also paid for a fence and video surveillance to be installed at his home.

Beattie claims in his lawsuit Potter’s assault was “done willfully and with intent to inflict harm.” Beattie denies threatening Rouleau, Potter or their families.

Some of these allegations have not been proven in court.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

CLARIFICATION: The original statement of claim filed with the court contained incorrect information. Rouleau’s report described Potter grabbing Beattie by the neck, not the other way around. The story has been updated to reflect that change. 

Updated May 23, 11:06 a.m.

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