Police brutality probe underway

It's been two weeks since Sgt. Steve Murray of the Lacombe Police Service arrived in Whitehorse to investigate allegations that RCMP members here broke the shoulder of a First Nation man who was in their custody on January 15.

It’s been two weeks since Sgt. Steve Murray of the Lacombe Police Service arrived in Whitehorse to investigate allegations that RCMP members here broke the shoulder of a First Nation man who was in their custody on January 15.

So far, Murray has seized the surveillance videotape of the cellblock from January 15 and interviewed officers, support staff and civilians. He expects to remain in the territory for another few weeks as he completes his work.

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. He was drunk that evening, and his last memories were of 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.

But, following what happened to Raymond Silverfox, he’s far from the only Yukoner to suspect the worst of the police. Last year, 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.

Murray encourages anyone with information connected to the case to call him at 335-8968.

“I think for the community, it’ll be good to get to the bottom of this.”