This screenshot from a video posted by a Kinngait resident on Facebook shows the moment when a man is knocked to the ground with the open door of an RCMP truck. The Ottawa Police Service’s investigation into the incident concluded the contact was unintentional and that the arrest was lawful. (Screenshot from Facebook)

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”

By Dustin Patar

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.

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(33) Comments:

  1. Posted by The drink on

    There can be much said, and much speculation. I’ll choose my words to be this: the police in our north have a tough job dealing with intoxicated people day in day out , and more by night as the sun goes down , and a full moon is rising. Every move the police make is difficult in dealing with the sometimes fragile, and not so fragile intoxicated people. Every move made by the police look bad, but it’s just looks that way , it’s not the police, but the intoxicated. Surely always bad apples in the barrel, but not all barrels have bad apples. As a matter of fact, most barrels have good apples.

    • Posted by For sure on

      Yes, that RCMP officer apparently slid into the drunk guy and hit him with the door of the truck. Honest to God – living in the north, how many of us have slid through intersections that are icy? I would say most of us. The RCMP have a thankless job and for the most part absolutely do their best to keep us all – both Inuit folks and the ‘southern folks’ – safe. I and my family have lived in Iqaluit for close to 18 years (and counting) and I simply cannot imagine what the RCMP deal with on a daily basis, but suspect that the RCMP consistently do their best, being only human beings, not super-gods.

    • Posted by Completely agree on

      This comment above is bang on. The RCMP, as a general comment, are absolutely doing their best in the situation of the moment.

  2. Posted by Citizen of Nunavut on

    I bet you my next pay cheque that if I hit a pedestrian in the same way, I would have been charged with something, lost my license or have it suspended. If it was a company vehicle I would have been fired. What happed to the driver?
    Pedestrians have the right of way. Always.
    This is disgusting.

    • Posted by Intoxicated on

      There are two types of intoxicated that the police deal with often. It’s the one like in this news, and the drunk driver. If you knock down a drunk on the road , your chances will be good that you will keep your license, your vehicle and your job. Most people as by a bit of news in this paper a few days ago, for Nunavik at least, are drunk drivers causing bodily harm.

    • Posted by How? on

      How would you under the same circumstances hit a drunk? Off course it’s documented that the victim was drunk. Would you have been called for help.? Like a dedicated citizen? No police required. You are not in an appropriate response situation. You are being defensive of the victim.

    • Posted by Michael on

      You also can’t wear a gun

      You also can’t have red and blue lights on your car

      You also can’t carry pepper spray

      You also can’t investigate committed crimes

      You also can’t wear a police uniform.

      See where this is going?

      There a LOT of things emergency personal are authorized to do that you aren’t. Stop making ridiculous comparisons.

    • Posted by Also Nunavummiut on

      Since I’ve seen people struck by vehicles in Nunavut and the drivers did not lose their licence or have it suspended, get charged, or lose their jobs, because it was deemed to be an accident, I’ll take that bet. You just lost, by the way.

    • Posted by Observer on

      I fail to see the need for the aggressive response towards this drunk person.
      I watched the video, he was walking and not committing a crime. Non threatening behaviour vs aggressive over kill response

  3. Posted by Be interesting on

    I can remember when certain areas of the north had no police to call when the drunk , or deranged or otherwise culprits were on the prowl. The community got through it most times without lost of limbs or life. Today seems like more violence and injuries and death is common. Wonder what it would be like if the police were not there any more for people to call for help , and let the community fend for itself, like I say we done it before, but more violence prone today thou. Thank your police.

  4. Posted by Our society needs on

    Listen up: most people drink, and don’t encounter a police. If you encounter a police then it’s 99% chance you are causing some type of trouble. Yes, I do know a certain person who called the police on an innocent person having a drink or two. But on the end of it all, it resolves itself. The drunk in our north land is a pest. I feel sorry for those who deal with them. I feel sorry for the families, the children, the victims. Stop this protection of drunk idiots. If you’re a drunk, it’s not a crime, but if you are bothering people, out on the go, walking or driving, you’re a pest ,period. Get some help , before there’s injuries or death to people around you , even yourself.

  5. Posted by Uvaali on

    Being a sober driver, as the cops are, there would be reasonable indication that I am going to hit the person or knock him down when I am driving at the speed they were and then opening door on his side. According to the video, the guy had had much difficulty handling himself.

  6. Posted by Eh? on

    OPs has a understanding with GN means? The RCMP is contracted by the same employer?

    • Posted by Explanation on

      “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.”
      This part means that the Ottawa Police Service has a contract with the GN to conduct investigations of what the RCMP does in Nunavut. Nunavut has no independent organization to oversee investigations of police actions, instead they have contracts with the Ottawa police to investigate. The GN also has(had?) a contract with the Calgary police to do similar investigations, but so far have only ever used the ones from Ottawa for their investigations in Nunavut.

  7. Posted by So what? on

    It was never a big deal to begin with, even before indepedent professionals confirmed there is no excessive force here. People get so easily triggered by anything the police do in 2020. The drunk guy can always prove his case in civil court if he says he was hurt, legal aid exists for him I am sure, but I doubt he ever will. The Court of public opinion will go there without evidence and in a flurry of sensationalism. I am glad now I didn’t pursue a career in policing, dealing with the same idiots every other day and then have everyone freak out when you use less force than a high school football tackle to take down a lawbreaking citizen.

  8. Posted by If only a lesson learned on

    The intoxication , mostly with alcohol has consumed the North. It appears to be top news forever. If only people could learn. What I’ve seen, is no ability to learn. It’s happens over and over. The thing is, those causing the trouble are not even aware we are discussing them. But there are people who see this type of discussion, and are in position to do something, but even these people do nothing. They keep advocating for more alcohol for the ones who abuse it and cause trouble. All in the name of equality and human rights. It’s in vain. And insane.

  9. Posted by Inuk on

    The arrest was lawful but the incident before the arrest was dangerous, unacceptable behavior. Sadly, todays living isn’t inuit way, it’s colonized way of living and how inuit live today is taugh by those who disrespect Inuit.

    • Posted by Immature on

      So sadly funny. Hey, how can you blame anyone for making people behave the way intoxicated people behave in the north. If people are so gullible to be followers of allowing someone to teach them how to misbehave, we’re talking adults here. That’s really saying that Inuit behave only according to what they see others doing or saying without a mine of their own to choose. My good lord , you’re in a bad situation. If I tell you to jump, would you just do it.

      • Posted by Inuk on

        Inuit in 1940 were so gullible. From nomadic to settlers because there’s “food” and “shelter”, hunting and sewing to organized systems, first hand learning to schools, tight knit family taken away. These traumatic events being dealt with alcohol and drugs in a controlled system, lost in 2 worlds.

    • Posted by Consequences on

      Yes it is very colonial to have all citizens subject to the same laws and consequences.

      • Posted by Inuk on

        And it is very unlawful to hit an helpless intoxicated man with a moving vehicle door. The short clip shows he was not causing any trouble, he was just so drunk that he barely stood up. This shows how both inuit and RCMP are bad, more so RCMP, who should be truatable with the law in these consequences.

        • Posted by A call for help on

          I may be wrong , but seems when I first read about this back in June or whenever, and saw the video, there was a story about that intoxicated person, causing trouble to someone , who therefore called the police for help.

        • Posted by Ignorance on

          There is nothing criminal with how police conducted themselves. I am sure the officer has been reprimanded and disciplined. If the drunk man was hurt, he can sue (spoiler: he has no claim). If this is somehow colonization then it seems like a completely reasonable outcome. Do you want the officers head on a stake?

          • Posted by Inuk on

            We all are stake holders, doesn’t matter where we stand, is matter of your morals..

  10. Posted by Amazing on

    Look, I know the police here have a tough, stressful job, and have to deal with a lot of drunks. But this was not an accident, and it’s ridiculous to say it was. When I watch the video, I’m thinking, “stop stop stop what’re you doing you going to h-” and then he hits the guy.
    The tires don’t slide until after contact is made, the truck dropping off the “track” (we just call those roads, and that’s the way they are here) just made the impact harder, but it was going to happen anyway. If you pause the video at the right time, the car door is making contact with the man’s hand before the truck drops, well before the tires slide.
    And why does the cop, who’s steering into the man, think he has to get that close anyway? You’ve seen the video, the man could barely stand up, he’s not running anywhere. Just stop like 5 feet from him and walk up to him. It’s pure negligence at best.

    • Posted by Truestory on

      I came to the same conclusion. Oh well. Cops will use their doors now stop a staggering Inuk more as the cop got away with it again.

    • Posted by In the drunks name on

      Oh yes, tough job with intoxicated people doesn’t give justice to the meaning. It’s frustrating too to be trying to tolerate this behaviour 24/7. Doctors and nurse as well so fit up with intoxicating people. In the light of that, even if this incident was as not a perfect move on the judgment of the police, it’s still understood how , police as just a human being , can make a mistake, which I don’t think, a mistake was made. It was all in the days work of that difficult job. Next time you see a person getting drunk, remind them that if they behave badly, it is dangerous, and could be in the news.

      • Posted by Jj on

        Yeah, remind tourself you could get ‘accidently’ creamed by a cop’s car, or shot from a distance, or beat to snot in your cell.

        So far Iv wittnessed two of the three.

        Stupid on ice, as if he could dead stop. Stupid clearance of negligence. Drunk or not, he wasnt hard to catch, was he?

        • Posted by Creamed , stupidity and drunkenness on

          Change of being creamed by a cop car, while sober and behaving well is very remote. Usually involvement with a cop car requires you to be in some type of bad behaviour, otherwise you probably have a better change of winning the 6/49 jack pot otherwise. Changes of being shot at a distance, as by one particular story in this paper about Nunavik, is a bit better, according to the deranged among us. But all in all, drunken , drugged has to not get the upper hand in our society, thank you to the police .

        • Posted by Catch me if you can on

          Try to catch me, is the name of those drunks, walking driving and causing harm to the community. Not hard to catch, just needs to catch more.

  11. Posted by Inutuinnaq on

    As most have seen the Video, there is clearly accountability issue here. When you have to deal with this situation again with such evidence as like the video go directly to the courts, now having witnesses this all I can say is that Ottawa police held themselves liable for lawsuits

    • Posted by Sued the drunks on

      We should start suing drunks in public. You know drunks in public causing trouble is against the law. You see them everywhere, In the stores in the morning bothering cashiers, you see them staggering around the community after only a few beers, drunk though. You see them in two or three holding each other up in the middle of the roads. They’re are pest.

  12. Posted by Tulugaq on

    The real issue here is the police making that call about the police. Many other jurisdictions have had to deal with the issue of the police investigating itself. Usually, an independent body is created with investigators that aren’t police officers and the goal is to be neutral. Nunavut has chosen to use the OPD as an “independent” organization to investigate complaints against police officers.

    Unfortunately, this ignores the usual reaction within the police to protect each other. We’ve seen that in the Dziekansky affair at the Vancouver airport where officers concocted their story before a video was released and contradicted that story and one of the officers was convicted for perjury. In this case, the OPD should not have made that kind of call as Justice doesn’t appear to be done. There is a court system that deals with these situations and, at the very least, the file should have been sent to prosecutors to decide whether there was enough evidence to lay charges. This wasn’t done nor was justice served.

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