One weekend, three communities
Acts of violence a drain on police
In three Nunavik communities, over a recent weekend, three different scenarios played themselves out.
In one community, tranquility. In another, the concerns of parents. And in a third, numerous anonymous calls to the Kativik Regional Police Force show Nunavimmiut want social peace even if they don’t always have it.
On a Friday night in early April, this is the ideal: a few people riding around on skidoos and four-wheelers, it’s nighttime, and pretty quiet. Everyone welcomes the boys’ hockey teams coming in from other communities. Many head off to the arena to watch the games.
Later, an alarm goes off in the co-op store, but nothing has been touched. A few kids are seen milling around at 3 a.m., but they go home. Nobody is arrested, and police say afterwards that “all in all, there was not much going on, criminally” that weekend.
But in another community police spend the entire weekend on the go: an intoxicated woman is held overnight for her protection, an “extremely intoxicated” youth is picked up for a variety of offenses, and a man is arrested for careless use of a firearm, but released.
Police keep watch over the detainees all night because they don’t have any guards for their holding cells.
Police first spot a young man driving around drunk in his parents’ vehicle. When stopped by police, he tells a constable he isn’t afraid of him and could “kick my ass if he wanted to.”
This young man later enters a woman’s house, demanding booze. When she says she doesn’t have any, he screams at her in front of her children. The woman is drunk, too. Police find a bottle of vodka on her kitchen counter. Police dump it down the drain, “much to the displeasure of the woman.”
Police spend much of the weekend following the teen as he wanders around the community, getting into fights, trashing property, and causing his parents to worry about his future.
Early Sunday morning, police learn another man is walking towards the gas station with a shotgun and pointing it at the community fridge. He runs away from police, who finally take him into custody.
Meanwhile, in another Nunavik community, a card game results in an arrest for attempted murder and a serious injury.
Two men start arguing while playing cards at a friend’s house. A man is stabbed with a knife below the right breast, and goes to the nursing station.
The police look for the other man at a friend’s house but they’re told he’s no longer there.
They conduct a search and ask for the help of the mayor and Canadian Rangers, but many of the Rangers are off camping. An anonymous caller tells police where to find him. When they arrive, they hear voices from inside.
“I don’t care a fuck if they send me to prison five to seven years, I’ll be back,” the man says.
Police are reluctant to enter because the man may be armed. They consult their superiors in Kuujjuaq. When they return, they learn the man has left. They can’t find him.
Another anonymous call tells police that the man they’re looking for has beaten up a woman. Yet another call tells them the man is outside another house, and another call tells them that he is inside.
At 1:35 a.m., police arrive and argue with him. Finally, they manage to handcuff him and bring him to the police station, where they read him his rights and detain him.
In connection with a series of incidents in Kangiqsualujjuaq on April 7, Lucassie Annanack, 22, now faces 12 charges, including three counts of assault, obstruction of justice, attempted murder, breach of parole conditions, and uttering threats.
One of the complainants is now recovering from a stab wound.