RCMP investigated for excessive force

A police officer from Camrose, Alberta is in Whitehorse to investigate a complaint of unlawful arrest and excessive use of force by Yukon’s RCMP.

A police officer from Camrose, Alberta is in Whitehorse to investigate a complaint of unlawful arrest and excessive use of force by Yukon’s RCMP.

On April 12, 2011 police went to a residence in the Carcross area after they received a report of a domestic dispute.

Both the man and woman were arrested and brought to police cells in Whitehorse.

On April 20, the woman complained about the arrest and the conduct of the officers who did it.

To avoid the conflict of interest of having the RCMP investigate itself, the territory’s Mounties asked an out-of-territory police service to look into the complaint, said Sgt. Don Rogers from the Whitehorse detachment.

The reason the Camrose Police Service was picked for the job is largely a matter of availability, said Rogers.

“Not every agency has resources available,” he said. “They’re doing these things as extra duties. Presumably all of the agencies that we seek out have the capacity and the ability to conduct investigations.”

When it comes to what the investigation will entail and how it will be conducted, that’s up to Camrose, said Rogers.

“We step right aside,” he said.

Impartiality, fairness and efficiency are the visiting officer’s main priorities with the interview-based investigation, said Insp. Lee Foreman from Camrose.

“Our purpose is to gather the facts, we don’t make any opinions,” he said. “We gather as many facts as we can and try to get as clear an understanding of what took place and to present those facts to the Crown prosecutor for a decision.”

There may be a code of conduct investigation of the members involved, depending on the outcome of Camrose’s findings and an internal assessment.

The RCMP members involved will remain on duty.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at roxannes@yukon-news.com