Mountie’s violent arrest prompts external investigation

Yukon RCMP has called in an independent team from Alberta to investigate the events depicted in a video circulating on the Internet this week, in which a Whitehorse officer is seen making a violent arrest.

Yukon RCMP has called in an independent team from Alberta to investigate the events depicted in a video circulating on the Internet this week, in which a Whitehorse officer is seen making a violent arrest.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team has been tasked with investigating the incident, which took place in someone’s kitchen.

A video recorded on a cellphone and later posted to Facebook appears to show an RCMP officer punching a man in the face before trying to flip him over to handcuff him.

“On your fucking stomach,” the officer yells.

 

RELATED: Watch video here.

 

Some witnesses are heard yelling at the officer, while others are crying.

“I did nothing man,” the man tells the officer.

“Why are you doing that?” says someone else.

The officer manages to roll the man onto his stomach, places his knee on his back and handcuffs him.

The video lasts just over a minute and twenty seconds. Since being posted online on April 5, it had been viewed more than 709,000 times and shared more than 13,000 times.

Comments on the video range from those who say the man was resisting arrest, to those who argue it’s clearly an example of police brutality.

“One thing I learned about the cops is to do what they say the first time. And they will treat you better,” wrote Eddy Anderson.

“I’d like to know the conditions and circumstances that led to the police officer entering the house,” wrote Marilyn Skookum.

In a news release yesterday, RCMP Insp. Archie Thompson said the Mounties have to be publicly responsible for their actions, which includes the use of force.

But more information is needed to find out exactly what happened.

“Social media does not always allow viewers the benefit of context or offer the totality of events, including the moments leading up to the point where the video started,” he wrote.

Thompson said the officer in question, who hasn’t been identified because no charges have been laid, has been reassigned to administrative duties.

“His duty status will be reviewed as a full and detailed picture of what took place is provided.”

The video comes only a few days after a similar incident was recorded in Yellowknife, N.W.T., and shared on social media.

An RCMP officer is seen punching a man in the face as he’s being restrained outside a gas station.

The detachment has ordered an external investigation of the incident, as well as a code of conduct investigation, according to the CBC.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

myles@yukon-news.com

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