Quebec police watchdog investigates suspected assault by RCMP officer in Campbellton, New Brunswick – New Brunswick

The Independent Investigations Bureau (BEI), Quebec’s independent police watchdog, says six members are on the ground in Campbellton, New Brunswick, investigating the actions of a local RCMP officer for “allegations of assault” against a person in police custody.

“We are leading this [investigation] as allegations of aggression, ”said BEI spokesperson Guy Lapointe.

New Brunswick RCMP said they requested an external review of police actions following an altercation and arrest on Friday.

New Brunswick does not have its own police review body and on Saturday the Quebec police watchdog said it had been asked to investigate the incident in the northern town of New Brunswick.

Police said members of the Campbellton RCMP responded to “a report of a man wielding a stick and entering local businesses” at around 1:15 p.m. Friday.

Witness Cameron MacDonald said he was stunned by what he was looking at, calling the altercation a

Witness Cameron MacDonald said he was stunned by what he was looking at, calling the altercation a “brutal blow”.

Courtesy of: Cameron MacDonald

“When the police arrived, the man resisted arrest and an altercation ensued between an RCMP member and the man,” said a press release. “The man refused medical treatment and was taken into custody.”

The story continues under the ad

The subject officer was assigned administrative duties while awaiting the review.

Video shared on social networks and witness account

Video of the altercation was shared widely on social media by various accounts, but all of the videos reviewed by Global News appear to show a man on the ground and an RCMP officer straddling him, attempting to arrest him.

Read more:

Nova Scotia Police Watchdog In Conversation With New Brunswick As Part Of A Joint Team

Another person, who has since been identified as Campbellton City Councilor Marco Savoie by the town’s mayor, can also be seen holding the individual.

The officer appears to hit the man’s head and upper body several times before another officer arrives to help him, approximately 47 seconds in one video.

The two agents and Savoie keep the man on the ground until the arrival of a third agent at approximately 1:30 am of the video.

Officers ended up lifting the man off the ground at around 1:45 a.m. in the video and appear to be struggling nailing him against the wall of the Tim Horton, as an officer appears to bring the man to his knees.

RCMP said he refused medical treatment and was taken into custody.

The story continues under the ad

Cameron MacDonald witnessed the altercation from his neighboring company and hopes for a “fair and positive outcome” to the BEI’s investigation.

“I saw a young man come out the side doors of the Tim Horton drive-thru and he literally had a cop at his feet, holding him by the arm, trying to hold him back and the guy was, you know, trying to get away from the officer, ”recalls MacDonald.

Campbellton Mayor Ian Comeau says response techniques need to be improved to respect the health and safety of all people, especially the most vulnerable.

Callum Smith / Global News

But after seeing the policeman take the man to the ground outside the facility, it was difficult to watch the strike ensue.

“I was just a little bit frozen, sort of stunned by what I was seeing, but at one point it slowly started to digest and think, wait a minute, there’s something wrong here. It shouldn’t happen.

“It hurts my stomach to watch this video,” he says. “From my perspective, I would call it a brutal beating.”

The story continues under the ad

An RCMP spokesperson said Monday they had not been informed if any charges had been laid against the man.

The Crown Attorney’s Office directed Global News to the Department of Justice and Public Safety to answer questions about the possible charges, but no details were provided at the time of publication.

Investigation of agent actions

The office will report its findings to the New Brunswick Public Prosecution Service, which will determine whether charges are warranted against the officer.

“At the end of the day, we’re going to submit our report and it’s really the prosecutor’s prerogative to file a complaint or not; it’s not for us to say, ”says Lapointe. “What we’re going to do is try to establish the facts and a sequence of events as clearly as possible.”

Lapointe says the BEI investigation is ongoing.

Read more:

Five things to know about the Quebec police watchdog investigating the shootings in New Brunswick

“We interviewed a few eyewitnesses, we were also able to interview the civilian who was involved, we received all the reports from the police officers involved, we obtained the full cooperation of the RCMP,” said Lapointe.

He says investigators will go door-to-door on Monday to see if they can connect with other witnesses and analyze surveillance video from neighboring businesses.

The story continues under the ad

They also have a copy of the video posted on social media, he says.

Lapointe says it’s hard to say how long the investigation might take, but it could range from “a few weeks to maybe a month, a month and a half.”

Some witnesses usually don’t end up speaking right away, he says, while some just aren’t available for interviews right away.

City response

Campbellton Mayor Ian Comeau posted a video statement on Facebook Monday in response to the altercation and concerns of community members.

“A lot of you have questions, but there are a lot of unanswered questions that need to be answered,” Comeau said. “What happened before what we saw on the video and what led to it will also be answered by the BEI.”

Read more:

BEI investigates after Montreal police were implicated in the death of a man from Hochelaga

“With the increase in mental health issues in our community and across Canada, there is no doubt that the work of law enforcement officers has become increasingly complex and difficult,” he said. he declares.

MacDonald, who witnessed the incident, calls for Savoy’s removal from his seat on the council.

The story continues under the ad

In a text message to Global News, Comeau said no discussions are scheduled to answer that call.

The mayor says the RCMP has assured him that the circumstances of the arrest are being investigated internally, and he says response techniques need to be improved to respect the health and safety of all people, especially the most vulnerable.

– with files from The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Comments are closed.