Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay police officer facing disciplinary hearing over altercation with Indigenous teen caught on video

A Thunder Bay police officer will face disciplinary proceedings under the Police Services Act after an altercation with an Indigenous teenager who was on a stretcher, in an incident that was captured on video late last year.

Video of late-2018 incident appeared to show female officer striking teen on stretcher

Thunder Bay police say an officer has been charged under the Police Services Act over the Dec. 1, 2018 incident in Thunder Bay, where a female officer was seen on video appearing to strike a person on a stretcher. (Facebook)

A Thunder Bay police officer will face disciplinary proceedings under the Police Services Act after an altercation with an Indigenous teenager who was on a stretcher, in an incident that was captured on video late last year.

The officer, identified by the Thunder Bay Police Service as Const. C. Clair, was charged under the Police Services Act with two counts of unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority. Police said the investigation began on Dec. 1, 2018.

A police spokesperson didn't provide any further details about the officer's identity when contacted by CBC News Tuesday afternoon.

Indigenous leaders in northwestern Ontario identified the girl on the stretcher as a 17-year-old from Nibinamik First Nation, a remote community about 500 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, who was attending school at the Matawa Learning Centre.

In the video, a female officer can be heard yelling, "That's enough," before appearing to hit the teen in the face.

Afterward, the officer yells: "Do not spit on me, you do not spit on me," while appearing to forcefully push down the person in the stretcher.

Police said at the time that they were called to a home Egan Street on Dec. 1, 2018 just before 7:30 p.m. about an injured woman who was subsequently taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Officers also found an intoxicated 17-year-old girl in the home and, while she also was being taken to hospital, a female officer "is seen to be in physical contact with the youth," according to a police media statement issued Dec. 3.

The video was shared widely on social media.

Police said the officer remains on leave; hearings are scheduled to start on Oct. 17 at 9 a.m., at Thunder Bay police headquarters.

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