Ottawa Police investigation into Kinngait RCMP incident concludes that arrest was lawful
“This does not meet the threshold of a criminal offence of an assault or assault with a weapon under the Criminal Code of Canada as the applied force was unintentional”
The Ottawa Police Service has concluded that the June 1 arrest of a Kinngait man was lawful.
The incident sparked national attention after a video showed the man being knocked down by the open door of an RCMP vehicle.
Following the incident, the Nunavut RCMP ordered both an independent external investigation into the incident, as well as an internal investigation.
“The investigation has determined that the RCMP officer driving the vehicle did not intentionally strike the community member with the vehicle door,” said an OPS news release from Dec. 1.
“Whereas the vehicle came to a sliding stop on a snow and ice covered track, the driver’s front tire went off the track, the vehicle dipped forward and the opened driver’s door swung forward and struck the community member.”
The OPS, which has a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Nunavut and the RCMP V Division, was called on to conduct the external investigation.
Two Ottawa Police criminal investigators were deployed to Iqaluit to “determine if there was any criminal responsibility on the part of the RCMP.”
As part of the investigation, the OPS officers interviewed 10 civilian and RCMP witnesses, examined a video of the incident, attended the scene, and examined the police vehicle involved in the incident.
“The OPS concluded that this does not meet the threshold of a criminal offence of an assault or assault with a weapon under the Criminal Code of Canada as the applied force was unintentional,” said the release.
“Investigators also deemed that that was no evidence of dangerous operation of a conveyance or criminal negligence and further concluded that the arrest was lawful.”
The Nunavut RCMP and the GN have been notified of the finding.
The June 1 Kinngait incident was the sixth to undergo external investigation in Nunavut since the start of the year.
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 Nunavut RCMP similarly said it would not comment because of ongoing internal reviews and an investigation into the incident by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission.