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Beaufort Delta

RCMP clear officer of wrongdoing in Inuvik incident


RCMP in the Northwest Territories say an investigation has cleared two police officers of wrongdoing in an incident involving a woman in custody at the Inuvik detachment last March.

Cabin Radio first reported that after a woman was taken into custody early on March 20, 2020, two male officers forcibly removed her clothing without another woman present and denied her medical attention.

The woman said she felt “violated” by the incident and argued it infringed on her Charter rights. 

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In September, the national police force announced Alberta RCMP would investigate the incident.

On Friday, NWT RCMP said in a news release that investigation report had been received late last month. NWT RCMP said that report focused on the actions of one member at the Inuvik detachment.

The report has not been made public. Exactly who and what was investigated is not clear. RCMP had already acknowledged multiple officers were involved in the incident that led to the complaint.

Based on a review of the report, NWT RCMP said, the actions of that officer were “conducted in a reasonable manner.” No further action is being taken and the officer remains on active duty.

A spokesperson for NWT RCMP previously told Cabin Radio there was no female guard on duty at the time of the incident in Inuvik and male officers were required to intervene “due to the urgency of harm prevention.” An ambulance was not called as the woman did not appear to require medical attention, the spokesperson said.

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Criminology experts have previously criticized the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission, which is charged with overseeing public complaints about the RCMP, calling it toothless and expressing concern that, in many cases, the RCMP investigates itself.

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