Thunder Bay officer in video 'on leave' after exposure to bodily fluids, say city police
Matawa chiefs 'condemn' actions of first responders
The police officer in Thunder Bay, Ont., who is the subject of an investigation under the Police Services Act after an incident on Saturday that showed her striking a First Nations teenager is now currently on leave for medical reasons, according to the Thunder Bay Police Service.
Police said they were called to a home on Egan Street to help paramedics with an injured woman on Dec. 1, around 7:25 p.m.
While at the residence, police found a 17-year-old female who was allegedly intoxicated. The video, posted to social media that night, showed a female police officer hitting the teenager in the face while she was strapped to a stretcher.
In the 21-second video, a female officer can be heard yelling, "That's enough," before hitting the teen in the face. Afterward, the officer then yelled, "Do not spit on me, you do not spit on me," while appearing to forcefully push down on the girl.
The details of why the teenager was being taken to hospital is part of the internal police investigation, according to a spokesperson. The youth is from Nibinamik First Nation and is in Thunder Bay attending school.
According to a written release on Tuesday, the female police officer captured in the video is "receiving medical treatment" as a result of an "exposure to bodily fluids."
Police said the investigation is ongoing and since this is a Police Services Act investigation, Police Chief Sylvie Hauth cannot comment.
Actions 'unacceptable,' 'unjustifiable' Matawa chiefs say
The teenager that's struck in the video by the officer is a student at the Matawa Learning Centre, according to First Nations leaders in the northwest.
On Tuesday, the Matawa Chiefs Council, of which Nibinamik is part, issued a statement condemning the altercation and the "actions of the first responders who were present and involved in this incident."
"These actions were unacceptable and unjustifiable, regardless how they were precipitated," the statement said, adding that they are considering "all appropriate legal recourse."
Superior North EMS said they responded to a medical call and because of that, they cannot comment further.