Former Nunavik police officer to be sentenced for assaulting Kangirsuk woman
Yannick Levac convicted last month of assault causing bodily harm
A former Nunavik police officer will be sentenced on May 21 for assaulting a Kangirsuk woman who called for police assistance.
Quebec judge Paul Chevalier found in a March 25 decision that Yannick Levac committed assault causing bodily harm against the woman on Dec. 19, 2016, while Levac was employed as an officer with the Nunavik Police Service.
The decision described Levac responding to a call for assistance at a home in the Ungava Bay community, but opting to arrest the caller for an unrelated alleged crime.
The woman, identified as KK, had lost her job as an interpreter at the community health centre a few years earlier. Another woman, identified as EHK, was hired to replace her.
On Dec. 13, 2016, Levac took a police statement from EHK, who alleged that KK had been harassing her.
A week later, on Dec. 19, KK called the Nunavik Police Service to ask for help removing an intoxicated person from her home in Kangirsuk.
Levac answered the call. While waiting for his partner to arrive, he decided to take advantage of being at KK’s home to interrogate her about her alleged harassment of EHK.
But when Levac arrived at KK’s home, he was told the intoxicated relative she called police about has already left. Levac decided to enter her home anyway to check in on KK.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Levac found KK on the couch on a phone call, shouting “f–king interpreter.” Levac made a link to EHK’s harassment claims and decided to arrest KK.
KK resisted the arrest; Levac finally handcuffed her on the ground and transported her to a cell at the police detachment.
KK was later transported to the health clinic following an apparent suicide attempt. There, KK showed the nurse an arm injury she said was caused by Levac.
Levac denied having injured her.
A complaint was later made against Levac by his partner, officer Audrey Poulin, who told the officers’ boss about the incident.
Levac was charged with assault causing bodily harm in 2018.
Chevalier looked at the legality of the arrest at KK’s home that night. He found that Levac relied on a single statement to pursue the harassment charge against KK.
The two other constables stationed in Kangirsuk at the time were both aware of Levac’s plans to arrest KK after she made the call to police on Dec. 19, 2016, to remove an intoxicated person from her home.
According to Poulin, KK was arrested for resisting arrest, knocked face down and handcuffed with one knee resting on her lower back.
Later, when she was put in a cell, Poulin said Levac punched her in the arm.
KK retained only certain memories from the night, due to being intoxicated. She testified that she still has pains in her wrist four years later due to the injury.
Chevalier concluded that KK’s arrest on Dec. 19, 2016 was unlawful, as the accused could not legally claim to have reasonable grounds to believe KK had committed the offense in question with the evidence Levac had gathered.
Chevalier also determined the injuries Levac caused meet the definition of bodily injury.
“There is clearly an intentional use of force against KK,” Chevalier wrote. “He therefore assaulted KK as he intentionally used force against her without her consent.”
The Nunavik Police Service declined to comment on the incident and judgment.
The NPS wouldn’t say when and how Levac left the organization. Quebec newspaper Le Devoir reported that he continued working as an officer in Nunavik until July 2017.