Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation listens as Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks during a press conference in Fort McMurray, Alta. on Friday May 30, 2014. Adam says ongoing concerns about coerced sterilization of Indigenous women is nothing short of a “crisis” and he wants to see a public inquiry into the allegations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

A First Nation chief wants an independent investigation into an alleged RCMP assault during an arrest that he says began over expired vehicle registration tags and ended with him facing charges of resisting arrest and assaulting police.

“Because we are minority… nobody speaks up for us,” Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam said during a press conference Saturday.

“Every time our people do wrong… (the RCMP) always seem to use excessive force and that has to stop … Enough is enough.”

Adam said he was leaving a casino after 2 a.m. on March 10 with his wife and niece. The group went to his truck, which had recently expired license plate tags, at the Peter Pond Mall in downtown Fort McMurray, Alta., when officers confronted the group.

The RCMP prevented the group from driving away and manhandled his wife, Adam said. The police called for backup and more officers arrived on the scene, he said.

One of the officers who arrived “he just gave me a, what you would call in the wrestling world, a clothesline,” he said.

During the altercation, Adam said he suffered a deep laceration inside his mouth and he could feel blood pouring out. He fought to maintain consciousness, he said, and felt someone hitting him on the back.

Adam was taken into police custody and held until about 9:30 a.m., said his lawyer Brian Beresh.

Adam was charged with resisting arrest of the criminal code and assault police in execution of duty of the criminal code, said Alberta RCMP in a statement Saturday. He will appear in Wood Buffalo Provincial court on July 2.

Wood Buffalo RCMP initiated a vehicle stop on an unoccupied and idling vehicle with an expired plate, according to the statement, and a confrontation with Adam resulted.

“During the incident, Adam was being placed under arrest and resisted. The members were required to use force to affect the arrest,” the statement said.

An in-car video system captured the incident and it was reviewed by supervisors.

“It was determined that the members’ actions were reasonable and did not meet the threshold for an external investigation.”

The RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A photo Adam took the day after the arrest shows him with a large bruise around his right eye and dried blood on his cheek. Adam and Beresh released two videos taken by bystanders of the incident.

A 41-second video shows RCMP asking Adam’s wife, who was in the driver’s seat, to exit the truck because she is under arrest. She can be seen stepping out of the vehicle and asking why.

On a roughly three-minute video Adam can be heard identifying himself and telling police he is bleeding.

“What did you do to me? I’m bleeding man,” he says in the video, and asks why they did this to him.

Adam can be heard yelling expletives during the altercation.

Both videos are dark due to the time, Beresh said at the press conference, noting the RCMP have better-quality recordings, which he has seen but is not permitted to release.

He called for the RCMP to release their recordings “so that the truth is known.”

Additionally, he called for a full investigation by an independent police force and for all police to wear body cam equipment when working outside of the station.

Beresh said the videos show Adam did not assault an officer or resist arrest, but made the mistake of asking why he was being arrested.

“He was challenging the authority, he was challenging the uniform and that can’t be permitted in the militaristic-type organization like the RCMP.”

Athabasca Chipewayan Chief Allan Adam is shown in a handout photo. The chief of a northern Alberta First Nation is calling for the government to investigate after he alleges RCMP assaulted him during an arrest that he says began over a simple matter of expired registration tags on his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Allan Adam MANDATORY CREDIT

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Indigenous

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Petition calls on referendum for new city hall development in Rossland

The petition sent to the B.C. government has gathered more than 350 signatures

Trail RCMP officer accused of criminal harassment, forcible entry

BCPS: The charges against Murchie date between 2017 and 2020

Trail RCMP safely apprehend man experiencing mental health crisis

A number of frontline agencies were involved in bringing this incident to a peaceful resolve

Trail RCMP, coroner, investigating fisherman’s sudden death

The Maple Ridge man, in his 50s, died while fishing on a bridge near Trail

Speak up for B.C.’s Old Growth

Letter to the Editor from Wildsight

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Most Read