A trio of arrests at gunpoint have led to an investigation against an RCMP member in Pelican Narrows.
Three incidents involving the same officer were reported to authorities, each taking place on June 30. Video of two of the arrests has been circulated via social media.
The first cell phone video shows two officers apprehending a suspect around 4 a.m. local time. One officer, a male, has his gun out and is pointing it at the suspect, uttering death threats and obscenities toward the suspect while the other officer handcuffs the suspect.
The video shows an object, identified in a news release by Saskatchewan RCMP as a machete, next to the suspect. The video is approximately 10 seconds long.
“The video does not capture the entire interaction between the suspect and the officers,” according to a Saskatchewan RCMP news release.
“The circumstances of the arrest, both before and after and the language used, is now under review.”
The second video, shot from inside a house and distributed via Snapchat, shows another arrest that morning. The officer is shown, once again with his gun out, yelling at a man on his knees facing away from the officer. The officer handcuffs the suspect, then lays him on his stomach.
Reaction to the incident has been swift. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) has called for “immediate termination and charges” toward the officer in relation to the incidents.
“This video… clearly shows the racist and ignorant actions of this RCMP member in Pelican Narrows and reaffirms that racism still exists within the force,” reads an FSIN statement.
The officer and the arrested people were not identified. One of the people arrested is under the age of 18 and is protected from identification by the Youth Criminal Justice Act. RCMP said the officer was taken away from Pelican Narrows and reassigned to “non-front line” work. It is unclear where the officer has been sent or what the non-frontline duties are. A Code of Conduct investigation has been opened by the RCMP, looking into the officer’s behaviour during the arrests.