Ottawa police clear Nunavut RCMP officers of using excessive force
Nunavut cops “did not exceed the use of force necessary,” Ottawa police probe finds
An independent investigation by the Ottawa Police Service has concluded that two RCMP officers involved in an alleged case of excessive use of force against a man held inside an Iqaluit police cell acted “within the scope of their duties.”
The OPS found the RCMP members in question “did not exceed the use of force necessary to control an aggressive and assaultive prisoner,” an RCMP news release said.
The complainant, Bernard Naulalik, 24, was arrested in Iqaluit for breaching a probation order to avoid consuming alcohol and for possessing marijuana. He was held in a jail cell on the evening of July 18, 2014.
The incident, which was recorded on video and obtained by Nunatsiaq News, shows Naulalik pinned under two officers inside the cell.
One of the officers, who is sitting on Naulalik’s chest, punches him five times in the face or neck.
Naulalik was eventually charged with assault by the two RCMP officers.
The Crown stayed that charge several months later.
In correspondence with Nunatsiaq News, the RCMP confirmed that OPS members visited Iqaluit and conducted interviews with the two officers, as well as with the complainant Naulalik.
“We rely and have confidence in the quality of impartial third party investigations … the results are not disputed,” said Cpl. David Lawson, the RCMP “V” division media coordinator.
External agencies are brought in to conduct investigations when RCMP members are involved in potentially sensitive or serious incidents.
There have been 10 external investigations conducted into the behavior of Nunavut RCMP members since 2010, Lawson said.
The OPS is also investigating another incident of alleged excessive use of force in Iqaluit on Jan. 2 ,2015 involving two RCMP police officers and prisoner Eetooloo Ejetsiak.
A police officer is seen in a cellblock video hitting a naked Ejetsiak in the face with a hand that is also holding a Taser gun.
The OPS said Oct. 7 that they are still conducting their investigation of that incident.