Sask. First Nation vice-chief 'very alarmed' after video shows confrontation between RCMP and young women
WARNING: Strong language is used in this story
Saskatchewan RCMP say they are reviewing a video depicting a confrontation between a member and a group of four young women that at one point turned physical — and which a First Nations vice-chief says shows "very unprofessional" and alarming conduct by the officer.
The video, posted to Facebook Tuesday and believed to have been taken in Pelican Narrows, Sask., runs more than a minute in length.
It shows an RCMP truck parked on a street, with a member standing next to it near a group of young women.
After a few seconds of talking, one of the women, carrying what appears to be a hockey stick, raises it in the air and a male voice is heard saying: "Do you want to get shot? F--k off."
Some laughing and shouting is heard from the group.
'Put down that hockey stick'
In the video, the RCMP member standing outside the truck is then seen climbing into the passenger side.
As the truck begins to drive off, the woman with the hockey stick slams it on the ground, then appears to step toward the truck, stick in the air.
The truck stops and the same RCMP member re-emerges, and says, "Put down that hockey stick right now."
He walks toward the group and appears to put his hands on the woman who had initially been carrying the stick.
She drops it and as one of the others in the group attempts to pick it up, the RCMP member steps on the stick and appears to push the woman, who falls to the ground.
At this point in the video, a second RCMP officer is seen telling the woman to "go home" and the first officer walks away, stick in hand, throwing it in the back of the truck.
The video ends with the RCMP members repeatedly instructing the group to go home, with the women walking away and swearing at them.
'Alarmed and disturbed'
Pelican Narrows is one of the communities that falls comprises Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation. Vice-chief Harold Linklater has watched the video and finds it troubling.
'I'm very alarmed and disturbed about the incident and the conduct of the member in question."
"I think the conduct is very unprofessional."
Linklater said the relationship between the community and the RCMP is strained right now, citing the not-guilty verdicts delivered in the Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier second-degree murder trials, which have resonated with Indigenous people.
"We don't want to create at atmosphere of animosity, I guess, between the community and the RCMP," he said, adding he wants to hear both sides of what happened.
"People don't feel safe, let's put it that way."
RCMP Staff Sgt. Rob Embree said he was made aware of the video on Wednesday, and said the matter is now under review.
He would not comment on exactly what happened, or if the member pictured in the video is still on regular duty.
Linklater said councillors and the chief will be sitting down next week to discuss what happened in the video, and the RCMP in the area will be invited.
In the meantime, he believes the member involved should be removed.
"Let's try and get this right down to the exact information as to what all transpired and what is going to be done, and what is going to be done going forward."