No grounds for charges in Clyde River RCMP shooting, Ottawa police say

Probe into last year’s shooting death of mayor’s son concludes

An Ottawa Police Service investigation into an RCMP officer’s fatal shooting of a Clyde River man in May 2020 has found that no officers involved committed a criminal offence. (Photo by Dustin Patar)

By Dustin Patar

The Ottawa Police Service has concluded there are no grounds for charging anyone in the fatal RCMP shooting of a Clyde River man last year.

On May 5, RCMP officers responded to a disturbance call that resulted in an officer fatally shooting Abraham Natanine, the son of Clyde River Mayor Jerry Natanine.

Following the incident, the Nunavut RCMP ordered an independent external investigation into the incident.

“There are no reasonable grounds to believe that any officer committed a criminal offence in connection with his death,” said an OPS news release issued April 9.

The OPS, which has an agreement with the Government of Nunavut and the territory’s RCMP division, was called on to conduct the investigation.

As part of the investigation, the OPS officers travelled to Clyde River and interviewed 10 civilians and three RCMP witnesses.

The initial stages of the investigation were completed in June.

The Government of Nunavut and the RCMP V Division have been notified of the finding, the Ottawa Police Service says.

Having “fulfilled its mandate relating to the criminal investigation into the incident of arrest,” the OPS said it will not comment further on the matter.

The May 5 Clyde River shooting was one of six to undergo an external investigation in Nunavut in 2020.

Following numerous RCMP-involved incidents last year, Bill 53, an Act to Amend the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Agreement Act, was introduced in the territorial legislature last fall.

The bill would add provisions to allow independent investigations to look into police-involved civilian injuries or deaths in Nunavut, along with the terms to create such a body.

Citing “outstanding issues” with the legislation, MLAs voted to extend the bill’s review period by another 120 days during the recent winter sitting of the legislature.

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(14) Comments:

  1. Posted by Truestory on

    Again. Not surprise. I knew no one was going to be held responsible.

  2. Posted by once again the truth is buried on

    Once Again the Truth is Buried. You do not see the Inuit of Canada going on a Rampage like BLM did or still does in the United States. The police officers who are in each of our communities believe that they are smarter and more educated than the Inuit. They will always have they stereotypical systematic Racist attitudes towards the Inuit.They all look down upon us.

  3. Posted by Tom on

    This is where a independent body to review these things would help, I am certain a different outcome and recommendations would of come out of a independent review outside of the police force.

    • Posted by Paul Murphy on

      Are you saying that the Ottawa Police Services are lying? Were you there? What insight do you have that another investigative body would have come up with different outcome? Unless they would possibly lie?

      • Posted by Tom on

        I am not saying that Paul, what I am saying is that a independent body would be more appropriate to review these kinds of incidents outside of the police force.

        It seems to have some conflict of interest when the police investigates itself, even if the police force is from another province it is still under the same umbrella.

        I don’t believe they lie but I believe there is some bias in their reviewing of a fellow police officer.

        Wasn’t there some recommendations for a independent review body for this type of incident?

      • Posted by Arctic Wolf on

        You can’t accuse somebody of lying when they haven’t really said anything. You also shouldn’t so readily accept a conclusion when there has been no real explanation for how that conclusion was reached. They went to Clyde River and they talked to witnesses. Who were they? What did they say? What information did they have or not have to lead them to conclude that no offence was committed? They may very well have reached a difficult but factually and legally sound conclusion, but if all they are prepared to say is “this is our conclusion, no further comment,” it’s not hard to understand why people would be suspicious.

        Police investigating the police is a conflict of interest on its face. That doesn’t mean they won’t do a thorough and professional job, but when they don’t back up their findings, that conflict is hard to ignore. It would be nice if the government could fund an independent body to investigate complaints like this, and give them the training and resources they need to do it as well as the police could. Then make the findings available to the public. The only fact we know is that a man was shot and killed by a member of the RCMP, then another police agency looked into it and said it wasn’t criminal. The public – and especially this man’s family -deserves more.

        • Posted by Nunavummiut on

          The OPS was tasked with the investigation and found no grounds to lay charges against the RCMP. It’s not their role to release information to the public, it’s back in the RCMP’s hands.

          The RCMP is now in a position to speak to Nunavummiut as to what happened in this incident but they likely won’t say anything which leaves us questioning the whole system.

          When the “Independent Civilian Review” begins you will see the same thing as what is being released with information – the only difference we will see is that a civilian review team reviewed and investigated this instead of the OPS, it will still leave everyone with how and why they came up with their conclusion which in most cases will be the same result as OPS investigations.

  4. Posted by J on

    I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to your family

  5. Posted by Acceptable on

    The amount of people who only care about a witch hunt against rcmp is insane. The truth will not change whether its an independent review body or the Ottawa Police. Accept the results and move on. If people feel so strongly that the investigation is rigged racist or unfair (baseless accusations) they should try suing in civil court and have their claim heard. They won’t bother though, just complain.

    • Posted by Truestory on

      As long as Nunavut keeps getting the bottom of the barrel, administered or bad cops. It will be so.

      • Posted by Different Perspective on

        Another way of framing this is to say “Nunavut is the bottom of the barrel.”

  6. Posted by Look at facts first on

    Look at the Crime Severity Index of Canada – NWT, Nunavut and Yukon lead all provinces for serious crime by a very large margin. Is that also RCMP at fault for responding to domestic violence and criminal activity with frequent armed encounters. Perhaps these facts are also wrong.

    • Posted by Alternative Colonial Facts on

      But those facts do not play well into the narrative many in Nunavut wish to portray, an ever existing and black and white reality with no exceptions of oppressive police and Inuit victims. If this viewpoint is disposed of, it will require these people, including those who are Inuit on individual and collective bases, to accept some level of responsibility. Rather than consider that, these people will espouse how police only protect themselves and that statistics and facts are skewed to preserve the fallacy that is their worldview. No, all my problems are someone else’s thought will continue despite facts and logic, because truth is relative to these people.

    • Posted by Truestory on

      The crimes that happens in Nunavut/NWT are more isolated and people tend to know each other. But, in the south, victims are threatened by the assaulterand do not call the cops for fear.


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