An intoxicated Tulita man threatened to shoot an RCMP officer from a distance at a future date, an NWT court heard this week.
After he sobered up the following day, Denver Dystar Clement told officers “you guys are just scared” after he was informed he would remain in custody pending a court hearing.
Crown prosecutor Brendan Green on Wednesday told a Yellowknife courtroom Clement’s threat to shoot one of the officers stationed in the two-person detachment came following Clement’s arrest for breaching a peace bond by being at his grandmother’s house.
“I will shoot you,” Clements said according to Green, adding an expletive. “You’d better be scared, I can see a long ways and I can shoot a long ways too.
“I hope you’re in the community longer because I’m going to kill you. I see your truck lots. I’ll blow up [your] truck. I don’t like white people.”
Clement, 34, initially faced six charges. The Crown allowed him to plead guilty to one count of uttering threats to kill and to breaching a recognizance in exchange for a joint sentencing recommendation.
On June 30, just after 8pm, the Tulita RCMP detachment received a complaint that Clement was intoxicated at his grandmother’s residence. He was reportedly harassing the elderly woman, who had a peace bond that stated Clement wasn’t to attend her home unless he was completely sober.
Police said they found Clement sitting beside his grandmother, apparently intoxicated. When they attempted to arrest him, Green said, he became agitated and smashed his head against the door of the police truck.
While police were reading the accused his rights, Clement lashed out with a series of threats, profanities, and allegations that the police were racist, Green continued.
During the booking process at the detachment, Clement continued the verbal assault.
“He stated he hated white people,” said the prosecutor. “He continued yelling through his cell door.”
Neither of the officers responded to the comments, said Green.
“Tulita is a very small community … the RCMP who are stationed there are in a quite vulnerable position,” said Green. “Many people own firearms in that community and I believe there are only two RCMP members stationed there.”
Clement’s record contains 52 convictions, including many for ignoring court orders and one in April 2020 for uttering threats against RCMP members.
Defence lawyer Baljindar Rattan said her client wanted to apologize to the police officers.
“He recognizes RCMP have a job to do and they don’t need to be threatened,” she said, adding when Clement is drinking he loses the ability to be “circumspect.”
The lawyer said both of Clement’s parents attended residential school and he grew up in a turbulent home, full of alcohol abuse, which led to him spending time in foster homes.
“He realizes he has an addiction to alcohol,” said Rattan.
Deputy Judge Gurmail Gill accepted the joint recommendation and sentenced Clement to four months in jail. With 65 days’ remand credit, Clement is left with 55 days to serve.
He is already on a probation order to keep the peace and seek counselling as directed, which will remain in effect.
“Ultimately, Mr Clement, you are responsible for your condition – and to improve it,” said Gill. “You only have so many opportunities to say, ‘Well, alcohol consumption was a big factor.’ That is going to start wearing a little bit thin.”