Young Yukoners hold protest at Whitehorse hotel after violent video emerges

A group of young writers in Whitehorse held a small protest Thursday evening, calling on the Westmark Whitehorse Hotel to answer questions about a video showing a violent incident.

Video appears to be from Westmark Whitehorse Hotel entrance; CBC cannot confirm when it was recorded

Contributors to the Shakat Journal, a Yukon publication for Indigenous youth, protested outside the Westmark Whitehorse Hotel on Thursday, calling on management to address a violent video that appears to be in the hotel entrance. (Dave Croft/CBC)

A group of young writers in Whitehorse held a small protest Thursday evening, calling on the Westmark Whitehorse Hotel to answer questions about a video showing a violent incident.

The video, which appears to be from a security camera, was posted to Facebook. It shows a violent confrontation between two men in the entrance to the hotel lobby.

CBC cannot confirm when the incident was recorded or who the people are.

Contributors to the Shakat Journal, a Yukon publication for Indigenous youth, say it's a hotel staff member and a young Indigenous man.

Skyler Isaac was one of about a dozen young people who went to the hotel on Thursday afternoon asking for answers.

"I really believe that the hotel should issue a statement on what happened — the whole story — and offer an apology, an explanation to the community why did this happen to a member of the community."

CBC News has contacted the hotel on several occasions by telephone and in person.

A manager has not been available on those occasions to comment on the video.

'We don't know the entire story'

Jeremy Linville was also at the protest in front of the Westmark. He said the video, which has been shared hundreds of times and viewed by thousands, hit a strong note with him.

"A lot of people actually said that the young native man threw the first punch, when no, that punch was in self defence. He was grabbed around the shoulder, in the back of the neck and ripped into the wall. Then he threw the punch," he said.

"Then the person who was throwing him out, started smashing him in the back of the head, then kicked him right out."

Linville said the silent protest wasn't meant to lay blame, but to get answers from the hotel.

"We don't know the entire story. But that's why we're here peacefully. We're here to speak with management to figure it out. We want to understand what happened here. We really do," he said.

"For somebody that hosts people in their building every single night … they should explain why that happened. I don't want to go to a hotel where I think I might get beat up cause I did something wrong."

Linville hopes the video will spark a larger discussion about the need to help the city's vulnerable people.

"I understand that this is not a place just to stand around in. I get that. But we do live in the Yukon, where it drops to –30, –40 C," he said.

With files from Dave Croft