Iqaluit RCMP order review into 2nd jail cell use of force incident

For the second time this year, Nunavut RCMP have come under fire for allegations of using excessive force in their holding cells.

Warning: viewers may find the video disturbing

​For the second time this year, Nunavut RCMP have come under fire for allegations of using excessive force against a man in custody in their holding cells.

A video posted today by Nunatsiaq News appears to show an altercation between police officers and a prisoner in an RCMP detachment cell in Iqaluit. A date stamp on the video reads July 19, 2014.

Police say the man had been charged with several offences and the video was disclosed in court as part of the evidence.

The video shows a man entering the cell and lying down. An officer then comes in and touches the man's pants pockets. The man sits up and a moment later the officer pushes him back onto the bench. 

The two struggle and a second officer enters the cell. As the two officers hold the man down, the first officer punches the man five times.

The second officer tosses an item towards the cell door. The two officers hold the man down for another 20 seconds before the second officer leaves the cell, followed by the first officer.

In a news release today, Iqaluit RCMP say they received a public complaint last month against an officer's alleged use of excessive force and public mischief in relation to the incident in the cell. 

RCMP inspector Don Halina wouldn't comment on the specific incident in a press conference Wednesday afternoon as it is under investigation. However, he did say the two officers in the video remain on active duty, and that the RCMP take these allegations "seriously."

In February, Nunavut RCMP called for an external investigation into another cell altercation after a video was shown in court that appeared to show a police officer hitting a naked prisoner in the head.

Both incidents have been turned over to the Ottawa Police Service for independent investigations.​


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