Man's abuse claims false: Winnipeg police
A young man who alleged Winnipeg police officers dumped him at the city's edge and threatened him with a stun gun has been charged with public mischief after his claims were proven to be "totally false," police said Friday.
Winnipeg police Chief Keith McCaskill told reporters that Evan Maud's claims were disproved based on eyewitness accounts, GPS data and video from a transit bus.
Maud, 20, did encounter police on Dec. 3 near Main Street and Magnus Avenue as he claimed, but that's about all that was true in his story, said McCaskill.
Officers stopped to talk to Maud, who had been walking in the middle of the road. His name was run through the police computer to check for any outstanding warrants, and then the officers left, McCaskill said.
Maud was never inside the police vehicle. In fact, video from the transit service shows he boarded a city transit bus about 15 minutes after being stopped, McCaskill said.
"All of the information has been disproven from that complaint," McCaskill said. "And it's rare that you have so much evidence to prove it could not happen."
The GPS data from the police car was also studied and showed the vehicle stayed within its district the entire shift and never left the city, McCaskill said.
"The allegations were very serious, and we felt like we had to get to the truth," he added.
"The investigation totally, 100 per cent, disproves the allegation. It absolutely did not happen."
McCaskill was joined at the news conference by police association president Mike Sutherland and Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Ron Evans.
The AMC had been acting as intermediary between the police and Maud's family, who said they were too afraid to speak directly to police after Maud went public with the allegations on Dec. 8.
Evans said the AMC will continue to work with Maud to "encourage him and give him support to deal with his dilemma that he finds himself in at this time."
Evans also said he hopes this incident doesn't erode trust and respect between First Nations people and the police.
Joseph Maud, the man's uncle, told CBC News Friday that the family continues to support him. The uncle said other witnesses would be coming forward soon.
He added that the family has no trust in Winnipeg police and planned to get legal advice.
McCaskill and Sutherland rebuked media for the extensive coverage of the allegations based on hearsay.
Sutherland said he was angry at certain academics, community leaders and members of media.
"It demonstrates how truly thankless this job can be, despite the continual sacrifice of our own safety to protect our communities and to protect the safety of others," Sutherland said.
Maud's claim was a "blatantly false allegation that smeared us all," Sutherland said.
Maud, who will be in court at a future date to face his charges, said he was waiting for a transit bus near Main Street and Magnus Avenue on Dec. 3 when a black car pulled up to him and two men got out.
One of the men wore a jacket marked "police" on it, and the car had a computer, police radio and partition between the front and back seats, Maud said.
He alleged the men accused him of being drunk, and having a record for break and enter and stealing cars. Maud told the men to take him to the drunk tank, but alleged they instead drove him to the southern outskirts of the city, told him to get out and took his jacket.
They then told him to run, threatening to shock him with a stun gun, Maud said.
The men drove off, leaving him to find his way back into the city, he alleged.
Maud didn't file a formal complaint with police until Dec. 11.