RCMP open internal investigation into Iqaluit member
The RCMP are investigating a complaint lodged by an Iqaluit man who alleges that he was injured by a member of the Iqaluit RCMP detachment.
IQALUIT — Police have opened an internal criminal investigation into allegations that a member of the Iqaluit RCMP brutalized a drunken prisoner in his custody.
Const. Colin Alloolloo, who is named in the complaint, will remain on the job at least until the investigation is complete, according to RCMP Inspector Dan Fudge.
While the Mounties take all such allegations against their members seriously, “He has the same rights as you or I,” Insp. Fudge said.
The accusations were published in the latest (March 15) issue of News/North, which carried a detailed and graphic account of the alleged assault, provided by Const. Alloolloo’s accuser and others who said they were witnesses.
Euan Mackay, the lawyer representing the complainant, Mathew Peteeloosie, has indicated his client intends to bring the incident to the attention of the RCMP Public Complaints Commission, but he refused to speak to Nunatsiaq News.
“I will not talk to you people at all, you can quote me,” Mackay said. “In my opinion, you are the RCMP Gazette. You’re totally unobjective, you’re totally unbalanced, and sorry, no quotes.”
Inspector Fudge declined to say why Peteeloosie was arrested or why he found himself spending the night in an RCMP holding cell.
“I can confirm the police responded to a call, and in responding, the individual was arrested,” said Insp. Fudge.
“Once our investigation is complete, I’ll review it here. Then it’ll go to a Crown prosecutor to see if [criminal] charges are warranted.”
Two RCMP members from Yellowknife began their investigation last weekend, and are expected to conduct interviews with all witnesses.
Peteeloosie required surgery at the Baffin Regional Hospital to repair a bleeding, ruptured bladder after spending the night of March 2 in an RCMP holding cell in Iqaluit.
Peteeloosie alleges that when he was detained in the drunk tank, a member of the detachment kicked him in the stomach.
As a matter of policy, the holding cells are monitored by video cameras. A videotape of activity in the cells on the night in question has been secured and will form part of the police investigation, Insp. Fudge said.
The RCMP Public Complaints Commission, an independent federal agency established in 1988 to review public complaints about the Mounties, could order its own investigation into the alleged assault.
The Commission has the authority to investigate the conduct of any RCMP member, to call any police or civilian witnesses it thinks have relevant information and to require them to testify under oath and be subject to cross-examination.
The RCMP Act requires that the Mounties investigate such complaints against their own members first.
“It may come back to us on review, and that’s where we get more closely involved,” said Jack Gould, a spokesman for the Commission.