Regina officers 'went too far' but did not racially profile Simon Ash-Moccasin: Public Complaints Commission

Simon Ash-Moccasin's complaint that Regina police used excessive force towards him in December 2014 was found to be true by the Saskatchewan Public Complaints Commission.

Moccasin's complaint of excessive force in 2014 deemed justified by Public Complaints chair

Simon Ash-Mocassin points to a mark on his face that he says the Regina police caused in 2014. (Ntawnis Piapot/CBC)

An aboriginal man who says police used excessive force when they arrested him just over one year ago has been partially vindicated. 

Brent Cotter, chair of the Saskatchewan Public Complaints Commission, said Simon Ash-Moccasin's excessive force complaint was justified. 

"They went too far in the way which they sort of physically detained and then arrested and handcuffed Mr. Ash-Moccasin," Cotter said.  

Moccasin filed a formal public complaint in December 2014 after two police officers approached him while walking near the casino in downtown Regina. 

Simon Ash-Moccasin walks through downtown Regina close to where he says police accosted him. (Ntawnis Piapot/CBC)

The officers were investigating a crime in the area and Moccasin said he was told he fit the description of the person police were looking for.

According to Moccasin, the officers then threw him into the back of the police car, and he injured his face and shoulders.

At the time, Moccasin said it was an incident of excessive force and racial profiling. 

Cotter, however, said this was not what people would consider a carding incident.

"It is perfectly legitimate for them, in my view, to have approached Mr. Ash-Moccasin to speak with him, but he knew his rights and was not cooperative and was not required to be cooperative and the officers overstepped themselves from there forward," Cotter said. 
Simon Ash-Moccasin with his copy of a response from the Public Complaints Commission over an incident involving police in Regina. (CBC)

'Holy moly. Thank you,' Ash-Moccasin says

Ash-Mocassin said he was pleased his complaint was taken seriously, adding that when he received the details from the complaints commission, he was a bit surprised.

"Your case is substantiated. What? That's what I felt," he told CBC News Thursday.

"I'm like, holy moly, thank you for listening and taking that time. It's a step towards the right direction."

He added that he disagrees with the commission's observation that the incident was not related to racial profiling.

"It doesn't mention that race is a factor within this," he said. "But with the letter and the words, it does confirm that this is also clearly a case of racial profiling."

However, he said he is encouraged that the system responded.

"It's been hard waiting," he said. "But to get anything back, like even a little bit of information back, it's been helping myself. I feel a little bit of relief."


  • A previous version of this story said the incident took place just over two years ago. In fact, the encounter with police was in December of 2014.
    Jan 14, 2016 5:03 PM CT