Former Nunavut RCMP detachment commander denies assaulting man

Cpl. Ian Crowe says he did not drive man’s head into the ground during arrest in 2020

The assault trial for RCMP Cpl. Ian Crowe started in Iqaluit Tuesday. He has pleaded not guilty. (File photo by David Venn)

By Emma Tranter

A Nunavut RCMP officer on trial for allegedly assaulting a man in Sanirajak in 2020 says he did not drive the man’s head into the ground during an arrest.

Cpl. Ian Crowe, who worked as the community’s detachment commander, is charged with assaulting a man on June 30, 2020.

Crowe’s judge-only trial began in Iqaluit on Tuesday and heard testimony from Crowe on Wednesday.

Const. Tyson Richard, who also worked in the two-person detachment, testified Crowe drove the man’s head into the ground two to three times after he refused to give up a lighter he was holding.

“Did you ever smash [the man’s] head into the ground as described by Const. Richard?” defence lawyer Robb Beeman asked Crowe.

“No, your Honour, I did not,” Crowe said.

Eleven days after the alleged incident, Richard reported it to the RCMP, and Crowe was removed from the community while he was under investigation. More than a year later, Crowe was charged with assault in August 2021.

On Wednesday, Beeman questioned Richard about why he did not take notes of the alleged head-smashing or include it in his police reports.

“It’s not in there. I was afraid to put it in my notes because Cpl. Crowe would have seen it, and I did not want him to know that I had an issue with what he did,” Richard said.

Beeman also said Richard did not take photographs of what he said was blood on the gravel outside the detachment from the incident, or of the injuries on the man’s face.

“What you tell us is that you falsified your notes, falsified your reports. Correct?” Beeman asked.

“I omitted some things, yes, out of fear, yeah,” Richard said.

Beeman also noted that Crowe, along with Richard, went back to the detachment later that night and asked the man if he wanted to go to the health centre, which is standard RCMP practice when someone is injured. The man refused.

Richard had told the court there was blood from the alleged assault on the gravel outside the detachment, and blood on the man’s face.

Crowe, in his testimony Wednesday, agreed there was blood on the gravel but said it came from the man’s face hitting the ground during the arrest.

Crowe also said Richard swept the man’s legs out from under him to get him onto the ground. Richard testified earlier that the man had fallen to the ground.

When Beeman suggested to Richard that he had swept the man’s legs, Richard said it was not true.

Crowe said the man resisted arrest and both officers were “exhausted” from struggling with him that day.

The trial continues Thursday with cross-examination from Crown lawyer Leo Lane.

 

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Kablunak on

    This is going to be very interesting to see what the court decides. Two officers in essence, are telling two different sides. I hope the individual incarcerated did not suffer serious injuries.

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    • Posted by 180 on

      You know if people would just comply with what they are ordered to do from police, these things wouldn’t happen, period. Some way or another police get ridiculed and shamed over and over again because of unruly criminals who don’t shut up and listen.

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