Charges dropped against Siksika man who suffered broken bones at hands of RCMP
Christian Duck Chief suffered a broken eye socket, fractured cheek bone and broken nose
All charges have been dropped against a man from the Siksika First Nation, southeast of Calgary, who suffered broken facial bones during a violent RCMP arrest last year.
Christian Duck Chief, 24, faced charges including assaulting a peace officer and resisting arrest stemming from an incident on April 1, 2016 when officers entered his home, broke at least four bones in his head and face during an arrest, and then walked him naked through their detachment.
His lawyer, Dale Fedorchuk, maintained the use of force was excessive and that the officers were in Duck Chief's home without a warrant, "violating his privacy and his dignity."
Prosecutor Ron Pedersen stayed Duck Chief's charges in Provincial Court in Siksika on Thursday, but did not explain why.
Duck Chief is "very happy that this matter is now over. He's happy to put it behind him," Fedorchuk told CBC News.
Woken from deep sleep
Duck Chief and his wife, Chantel Stonechild, previously told CBC they were sleeping in their home on the Siksika First Nation when RCMP officers from the Gleichen detachment entered at around 6 a.m.
Duck Chief initially resisted the officers, they said, because he'd woken from a deep sleep and didn't realize the people in his home were police.
The couple alleged an RCMP officer hit Duck Chief at least 20 times after he stopped struggling, even as he lay handcuffed on the floor.
According to Stonechild, Duck Chief was yelling "I'm not resisting" over and over as an officer hit him and elbowed him in the face "more than 20 times."
The RCMP has not commented on the case.
Needed a hospital
Police then refused to allow Duck Chief to get dressed.
"After arresting him, they took him out of his home naked, put him in the back of a police cruiser naked, and then took him through the detachment nude in the presence of a female civilian personnel at the guard desk," Fedorchuk said Thursday.
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That was before police realized Duck Chief was badly injured and needed to be taken to hospital by ambulance.
Ultimately, he suffered a broken eye socket, fractured cheek bone, a fracture to the back of his head and a broken nose. He needed surgery.
Plans to sue RCMP
The couple believe the arrest occurred because a friend had visited them the night before in a stolen vehicle, and because of racism.
Fedorchuk said he suspects Duck Chief's history with police — he was facing unrelated assault charges at the time of the arrest — may be why they entered the home. It was not immediately clear whether the original assault charges were also dropped.
Fedorchuk said Duck Chief plans to sue the RCMP, and that he's preparing a statement of claim which should be filed in the next couple of weeks.