Outside force to investigate Yukon RCMP

An Outside police force will investigate accusations Whitehorse RCMP members broke the shoulder of a First Nation man who was in their custody on January 15.

An Outside police force will investigate accusations Whitehorse RCMP members broke the shoulder of a First Nation man who was in their custody on January 15.

Wayne Hare, 48, alleges police officers beat him up, stripped him of his clothes and left him naked and shivering in the RCMP lockup for six hours.

Hare doesn’t remember being hit by the RCMP. But, following what happened to Raymond Silverfox, he’s far from the only Yukoner to suspect the worst of the police.

Hare’s memories from the preceding evening are bleary, he told the News. He was drunk, standing outside Flippers Pub and waiting for a taxi to take him home.

The next thing he knew, he was naked in the drunk tank.

Between these two moments he remembers little, other than a vague memory of being inside the squad car.

He doesn’t remember being picked up by the police, or being hit by them. Yet he’s convinced that’s what happened.

“This was a blatant attack,” said Hare. “There was no reason for them to pick me up.”

He dismisses the possibility he may have blacked out and taken a bad tumble, or gotten in a fight.

The Tr’ondek Hwech’in member said he is not violent. He used to have run-ins with the police when he was younger and “wild,” but he hasn’t since 2001.

Hare now has a steady job as a trucker.

“I’m known as a working man,” he said.

He insists he isn’t big enough to pose a threat to an officer. He’s slight, weighing 140 pounds.

And if Hare was violent, he wonders why he wasn’t charged with a criminal offense.

Hare felt humiliated when he woke up naked. He never received an explanation for why he was stripped, he said.

The most common reason for prisoners being stripped would be if they had soiled themselves.

Hare suspects police mistook him for a street person. “A lot of them do get beat up and they don’t say anything,” he said.

Now Hare says he’s afraid of the police. “When I see a cop coming, I turn my face away,” he said.

A broken shoulder makes all sorts of simple tasks painful for Hare. He has trouble getting changed, washing his hair or cooking. “I can’t even cut open a baked potato,” he said.

Hare’s case will be investigated by the Lacombe Police Service. Lacombe, Alberta is a town of 12,000 people, located 20 kilometres north of Red Deer.

The Outside force was asked to investigate to avoid the heavily-criticized conflict of interest of having the RCMP examine its own members.

Hare’s allegations come at a time when trust between Yukon’s First Nations and the RCMP is at an all-time low, following three explosive cases last year.

First, two Mounties in Watson Lake were charged with sexual assault. They were found not guilty by the court, but this verdict meant little to many onlookers already suspicious of the RCMP.

Then, a damning coroner’s inquest revealed that Raymond Silverfox, a 43-year-old Carmacks man who died in RCMP custody in December 2008, was mocked and ridiculed by members as he died from acute pneumonia after being locked up for 13 hours.

Last, Robert Stone, 34 years old and extremely intoxicated, died at the Yukon’s Detox Centre after being picked up by police. Stone’s family accused the RCMP of assaulting Stone.

An autopsy was inconclusive as to the cause of death, yet ruled out violence as a cause. But, on the heels of the Silverfox case, many saw a pattern forming.

Earlier this month, the Yukon government announced the new Whitehorse Correctional Centre will feature a bigger, better drunk tank that will be staffed by nurses and correctional staff, rather than RCMP. The secure assessment centre is expected to open by mid-2011.

Contact John Thompson at


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

Local poet Joanna Lilley is photographed at the Beringia Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 20, where she will be hosting a poetry workshop on Jan. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Poetry for the ages

Workshop set for the Yukon Beringia Centre

President Joe Biden signs executive orders after speaking about the coronavirus, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris in the State Dinning Room of the White House on Jan. 21, in Washington, D.C. The administration announced plans Jan. 20 for a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the Trump administration issued leases in a part of the refuge considered sacred by the Gwich’in. (Alex Brandon/AP)
U.S. President Joe Biden halts oil and gas lease sales in ANWR

“Its great to have an ally in the White House”


Wyatt’s World for Jan. 22, 2021

Children’s performer Claire Ness poses for a photo for the upcoming annual Pivot Festival. “Claire Ness Morning” will be a kid-friendly performance streamed on the morning of Jan. 30. (Photo courtesy Erik Pinkerton Photography)
Pivot Festival provides ‘delight and light’ to a pandemic January

The festival runs Jan. 20 to 30 with virtual and physically distant events

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Most Read