Tuktoyaktuk father claims RCMP used unnecessary force with 15-year-old son
'I feel like nobody is helping us. Nobody is taking this seriously,' says Joe Nasogaluak
Joe Nasogaluak said his family has lost trust and are fearful of the RCMP since an incident in November when he believes police used a Taser on his 15-year-old son.
Nasogaluak said the family immediately filed a complaint with the RCMP, and were told that an investigation will be complete sometime after January.
RCMP confirmed an investigation is underway but declined an interview, though a spokesperson did say that no Taser was used.
According to Nasogaluak, the incident happened when his son and friends were snowmobiling and hanging out on the outskirts of town.
Two members of the RCMP approached them, reportedly saying they thought the youth might be in distress. The officers first asked the youth if they were drinking, and then asked for everyone's name.
According to Nasogaluak, the police didn't believe his son was giving him the correct name, even though he is a well known drum dancer in the community.
"They said you are under arrest for not giving me your name. He did that and put his hands on the Skidoo and my son said take your hands off my Skidoo and then he [the RCMP officer] punched him and rolled him over and they jumped him."
'He didn't do nothing'
Nasogaluak said his son began to fight back, "because he didn't do nothing," and that's when one of the other youth saw him start to shake.
Nasogaluak believes that was caused by a Taser, and is upset that anyone, but particularly young people, would be treated like this by the RCMP.
"He's 15. You know, he's still a kid? That's what I'm really upset is that he gave them his name and they turned around and be some kind of robocops."
Nasogaluak said the incident is now beginning to affect his family's education. For example, the RCMP often do presentations at the school. Nasogaluak's son is so fearful he might see them that he refuses to go. Two of his siblings are also not attending in support of their brother.
"I feel like nobody is helping us. Nobody is taking this seriously," said Nasogaluak.
"These police should be charged and kicked out."
'Thorough' investigation underway
RCMP Const. Robert Frizzell confirmed in a written statement that an investigation is underway.
"We strive to do the most thorough and complete investigation we can and that takes considerable time and resources to do properly," he wrote.
Frizzell said there have been no other complaints filed, and that the local officers have received positive feedback from the community.
Outgoing Mayor Darrell Nasogaluak said although there has been issues with the RCMP in the past, there hadn't been any problems recently.
"We've had many years of very good relationships with the RCMP. I think the issues that have come up, we haven't seen anything like that in quite some time, and the results of the review once it comes out will tell exactly of what happened."