Pond Inlet man charged with pointing firearm

“The officers continued to work to resolve the situation through negotiation and de-escalation, resulting in the suspect surrendering to police”

Pond Inlet RCMP arrested a 25-year-old man on July 14 after receiving complaints that he had pointed a firearm at several occupants. The force says the arrest is an example of how its officers often de-escalate potentially violent situations. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Nunavut RCMP are touting the recent arrest of a Pond Inlet man as an example of the force’s use of approaches to de-escalate potentially violent situations.

On Tuesday, July 14, shortly after midnight, Pond Inlet RCMP responded to a disturbance in a residence with several people. The investigation found that someone had pointed a firearm at several occupants of the home.

“The suspect, fled on foot and it was unknown if the suspect was still armed or their current location,” states an RCMP news release issued on Friday, July 17.

“Concerned for the safety of the community and the suspect, the Pond Inlet RCMP reacted quickly and located him nearby. The officers made contact with the suspect who was highly agitated and in distress. The suspect acted in a manner to suggest to the officers he was still in possession of a firearm and wanted the police to engage in force with him.

“The officers continued to work to resolve the situation through negotiation and de-escalation, resulting in the suspect surrendering to police.”

The 25-year-old Pond Inlet man was taken into custody with the support of health services, the RCMP say.

The man was charged with pointing a firearm and other unspecified offences. He later appeared before a justice of the peace for a bail hearing and was released on conditions. His next court appearance is July 27 in Pond Inlet.

“The rapid and professional response of the Pond Inlet RCMP prevented any harm to the community in this dangerous situation that could have potentially turned tragic,” said Cpl. Jamie Savikataaq in the news release.

The news release goes on to say that RCMP officers in Nunavut “regularly respond to high-risk calls including incidents involving weapons on a daily basis.”

“So far this year the RCMP in Nunavut have responded to 263 weapons related calls of service with 58 involving firearms. In support of our policing duties the Nunavut RCMP are successful in the de-escalation and safe conclusion of thousands of high-risk encounters every year.”

The RCMP is facing calls for police reform following recent incidents involving the treatment of Indigenous people. That includes an incident in Nunavut that saw a Kinngait officer arrest a man by knocking him over with the door of a police vehicle.

Nunavut RCMP say they want to remind the public that all firearms, including hunting rifles, are required by law to be properly secured and stored away from ammunition. “Trigger locks are available in all detachments across the territory. Please visit your local detachment to obtain a trigger lock free of charge.”

As well, Nunavut RCMP say that mental health support is available to all residents. “If you are feeling sad, stressed or overwhelmed and need to talk to someone, help is available. Please call the Kamatsiaqtut Help Line at 1-800-265-3333, or by visiting their website at http://nunavuthelpline.ca.”

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