RCMP in Nunavut have removed an officer from the community of Kinngait after video of an arrest, described as “police brutality” by one witness, was viewed more than 100,000 times.
The video, captured late on Monday evening, shows an apparently intoxicated man walking unsteadily in the street before an RCMP truck arrives with its driver’s door open.
The truck does not stop before reaching the man, causing the door to knock the man to the ground.
Five officers subsequently restrain the man while he remains on the ground, then attempt to move him into the truck, while ordering bystanders to move away.
Video of the arrest is available on Facebook. Viewers may find the footage disturbing.
The video – captioned “was that necessary?” – had been shared nearly 4,000 times by Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement, Nunavut RCMP acknowledged the video “gave rise to the concern of the actions of the officer in conducting the arrest.”
RCMP said Nunavut RCMP’s commanding officer, Chief Supt Amanda Jones, had ordered an independent, external investigation as well as an internal investigation into the officer’s actions.
“While these investigations are being conducted, the officer will be removed from the community and placed on administrative duties,” RCMP stated.
Cpl Jamie Savikataaq, speaking on behalf of RCMP, said the external investigation would “determine the circumstances of the event and whether criminal charges should be sworn against the officer.”
Savikataaq said RCMP would have no further comment while the two investigations took place.
According to police, the man arrested – who has not been publicly identified – was “checked over by medical staff while in cells.” RCMP did not specify his condition or what, if any, charge he faces.
Some northerners drew a connection between the video’s contents and civil unrest across the United States following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody while pleading that he could not breathe as a white officer continued to kneel on his neck.
“I think it’s insanely messed up, especially considering everything happening in the States right now,” said one northern resident who shared the video with Cabin Radio.