By Nigel Maxwell, paNOW
A video showing an RCMP officer pushing a woman to the ground has been viewed over tens of thousand of times on Facebook.
The video, posted Tuesday afternoon, was taken during an incident in Pelican Narrows, though it contained no information on when the incident occurred.
The video appears to show an altercation between RCMP and a small group of women who were walking down the street. Early in the video, one of the officers can be heard saying, “Do you want to get shot? F**k off.”
When the officers attempt to drive away, a woman can be seen swinging a hockey stick at the RCMP truck. The officers pull over and demand the woman hand over the hockey stick. She puts the stick down. An officer then appears to push another of the women to the ground as she tries to pick the stick up.
The two officers then drive away, as the group of women is heard swearing at them.
paNOW reached out to RCMP for comment. Staff Sgt. Rob Embree said the matter is being investigated.
The woman who posted the video has not responded to requests for comment.
Warning: This video contains strong language.
Sask. Chief calls for RCMP to take action over video
Chief Peter Beatty said he was very unimpressed with what he saw and heard on the video, which as of Thursday afternoon had over 47,000 views.
The Chief of Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation said the words and actions of the RCMP officer were entirely inappropriate.
“I know it was reactionary on the part of the officer and I don’t know if they get the training for that kind of stuff but my goodness you don’t say those kinds of things regardless of whether these people were intoxicated or not,” Beatty said.
Beatty said the commander of the Pelican Narrows RCMP detachment has assured him the matter is under review and is being taken very seriously.
“We are very concerned and we expect the RCMP to take action,” he said.
Beatty said he heard there was a prior arrest that led to the incident in question, but added those details will come out in the RCMP investigation.
Vice-Chief Harold Linklater was responsible for creating a peacekeeper program in the community. He said the timing of the video is very bad.
“You know considering what’s transpired over these last few months you know regarding Boushie and Fontaine, it’s really spurred a lot of tensions I suppose,” Linklater said.
Both Beatty and Linklater said they plan to meet with the RCMP to discuss the matter further. A meeting was scheduled for next Tuesday. Beatty said Federation of Saskatchewan Indigenous Chief Bobby Cameron has also expressed his concern over the matter.
When a person has a complaint about the actions of an RCMP officer, they can make a formal complaint through the RCMP’s Civilian Review & Complaints Commission.
Commission spokesperson Anna Van Dusen said she couldn’t confirm if a complaint had been made regarding the video due to privacy concerns.
Van Dusen said complaints can be made either to RCMP or the provincial body responsible for policing in the province. Once a complaint is received, RCMP will investigate and issue a report which comes back to the complainant.
“If a complainant is not satisfied they can come back to us and say ‘I’m not happy with this’ and they can request we do a review,” Van Dusen said.
Van Dusen said all complaints are kept anonymous unless the complainant themselves publicly states they made a complaint.