In this image from a video, Const. Jesse Byer, left, is seen with Const. Luke Tomkinson during an arrest in Arctic Bay on Feb. 15, 2020. Tomkinson is accused of pointing his stun gun at Andrew Muckpa, who is out of frame. (Screenshot via Devon Muckpa/Facebook)

Evidence issue brings RCMP officer’s trial to standstill

Prosecution questions admissibility of Const. Luke Tomkinson’s 2020 incident report

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A Nunavut RCMP officer’s assault trial stalled Friday as Crown lawyers questioned the admissibility of the officer’s report stemming from the incident.

Const. Luke Tomkinson faces charges of assault with a weapon and uttering threats stemming from a Feb. 15, 2020, arrest in Arctic Bay. He’s accused of pointing a stun gun, which transmits an electrical charge, at a man and threatening to shoot him in the face with it.

The trial began Tuesday and ran through the week with testimony from people who were present for the arrest, as well as an RCMP use-of-force expert.

Proceedings have been held in a Government of Nunavut building boardroom in Iqaluit, instead of at the courthouse.

Nobody testified Friday. Court was delayed by 40 minutes as both Crown and defence lawyers, as well as Tomkinson himself, re-entered and exited the room to discuss what prosecutor Yoni Rahamim described as an “evidentiary issue.”

Rahamim explained that the issue relates to the admissibility of Tomkinson’s subject behaviour/officer response report of the arrest. Officers are required to file such reports after incidents that result in use of force.

Justice Christian Lyons adjourned proceedings at 11 a.m., and a brief appearance has been scheduled for Oct. 30.


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