RCMP in northern Alberta say they are conducting an internal review after a video surfaced online that shows a Mountie kneeing a man several times in the head during an arrest.
Chief Supt. Sean Curry said RCMP in High Level, Alta., received a complaint about several intoxicated people causing a disturbance at the Flamingo Inn.
A lone officer responded to the call and identified a man as the alleged instigator of the disturbance, Curry said.
“The person was very intoxicated, and the member attempted to arrest the individual,” Curry said at a news conference Thursday.
“The man allegedly refused to follow commands and a physical interaction occurred.”
Another officer appeared on the scene before the man was taken into custody, Curry said.
He confirmed the video posted on social media showed part of the encounter.
The 30-second video shows an officer, who appears to be a woman, kneeing a person four times on the head as two people stand by on either side watching.
An RCMP cruiser can then be seen pulling up and another officer approaches the person on the ground. The initial officer can be seen punching the person five times before kneeing him in the head another three times.
Curry said the level of force used to make the arrest is under review.
“We are taking every step to examine and fully understand the interaction,” he said, adding that the arresting officer has been placed on administrative duty.
Senior management of the RCMP Western Alberta District has been in contact with local Indigenous leaders, “whose community members have been affected by this,” Curry said.
"Understandably, they wish to know how this transpired,” he said.
“They have my assurance that we will closely and transparently work with the (Alberta Serious Incident Response Team) to ensure this matter is fully investigated.”
Curry said he could not comment on whether the actions of the second responding officer are being investigated by ASIRT.
ASIRT, which investigates when members of the public are injured or killed by police in Alberta, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Curry said that three hours after the man’s arrest, he was assessed by emergency medical services and taken to hospital as a precaution.
He has since been released from hospital and no charges have been laid.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 12, 2022.
Daniela Germano, The Canadian Press