Police ethics watchdog investigates alleged beating of Innu man

Quebec’s police ethics commissioner is investigating a case of alleged police brutality in a Innu community last summer that was caught on video and posted to Youtube.

WARNING: Video contains explicit language

Ghislain Picard, the Assembly of First Nations regional chief for Quebec and Labrador, is encouraging his constituents to keep a record of alleged cases of police brutality and transmit them to police. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

Quebec’s police ethics commissioner is investigating a case of alleged police brutality in a remote First Nations community last summer that was caught on video and posted to Youtube.

The short video, shot last July in the Innu community of Unamen Shipu on Quebec's Lower North Shore, was taken from the backseat of a car and shows two uniformed Sûreté du Québec officers repeatedly punching a man on the ground.

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The man, 24-year-old Norbert Mestenapeo, had been involved in a fight with another man and police were called in to intervene.

A woman taking the video says “that’s police brutality” and continues to film the incident.

In an interview with CBC News, SQ spokesperson Sgt. Benoit Richard said a crown prosecutor did not press charges after reviewing the incident.

However, the province’s police ethics commissioner is now reexamining the video after receiving a complaint.

“We’re working with them and collaborating with their investigation,” Richard said.

Ghislain Picard, regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for Quebec and Labrador, said he’s asking people to keep a record of alleged abuse and transmit it to police.

“The case of Mr. Mestenapeo is preceded by a range of cases with different nations and communities,” he said.

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