Charges laid against 11 inmates from riot at Iqaluit jail
Death threats, wearing a mask and assault on a peace officer among charges following June trashing of Baffin Correctional Centre
Charges have been laid against 11 inmates from Iqaluit’s Baffin Correctional Centre, Nunavut RCMP said today, following a police investigation into a June riot that destroyed a large medium-security cellblock at the Iqaluit jail.
Those charges include uttering death threats towards corrections staff, rioting while wearing a mask, and assaulting a peace officer with a weapon.
“The investigation identified 11 individuals that were primarily involved with inciting and participating in the destruction of property at the facilities’ Charlie Unit,” RCMP said in a news release on July 13.
The overnight riot ended on June 21, having lasted five and a half hours, RCMP said.
Twenty-six inmates were involved in the riot. Following the incident, 40 inmates were flown to correctional centres in the south when the Iqaluit jail wasn’t able to house them anymore.
The names of the 11 inmates charged, as published by Nunavut RCMP, are Aaron Akulukjuk, 35; Gary Arnaquq, 36; Suati Atsiaq, 25; Archie Ishulutak, 32; Jobie Kadloo, 28; Adam Kigiuna, 27; Tim Lucassie, 30; Spencer Nakoolak, 25; Edmund Pameolik, 30; Kootoo Papatsie, 23; and Marvin Tunnillie, 21.
Gary Arnaquq and Jobie Kadloo were both involved in a smaller riot last September, when a four-bed unit at the BCC was destroyed.
Following the riot, Justice Minister Jeannie Ehaloak said that the inmates had no space for recreation because the jail’s gym had been taken down to make space for the construction of a new correctional centre that should open in 2021.
RCMP did not break down who received each specific charge, but said instead:
• seven inmates are charged with taking part in a riot while wearing a mask,
• seven with intent to commit an indictable offence while masked,
• nine with assault with a weapon on peace officers engaged in their duties,
• four with uttering death threats to corrections staff,
• three with obstruction of a peace officer engaged in their duties, and,
• three with uttering threats to damage BCC property.
Today, eight of the 11 inmates are “being processed” in the Ontario provincial court, and arrest warrants are being sent to the other three.
The 11 inmates are scheduled to appear at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit on Aug. 14.