A video allegedly showed an RCMP officer sexually harassing an Indigenous teen. Then it went missing. Inside allegations of misconduct and cover-up in Canada’s national police force.
The officer, a rookie, had started watching the video earlier in the day, a month after the alleged incident took place. The video made him a little unnerved.
He was supposed to be watching him more closely. But as the officer watched, an old male was filmed sexually harassing a teenager. There was no warning, no attempt at mediation.
The video disappeared from police headquarters shortly afterwards.
This is one of many examples of how Indigenous people say Canada’s national police force has been failing to recognize the harm they have suffered for decades.
The incident at a local park the RCMP watch over every day took place five years ago when the officer, then 28 years old, was on a shift on the day of the video’s disappearance. He knew a younger Indigenous man and his 16-year-old cousin, who were friends, who were on the park’s play area when the incident came to their attention. The younger man had gone to see his friend after the police had closed down the park to investigate reports of a fight.
“I was just very shocked and upset,” he said.
The 16-year-old, who is also Indigenous, had filed a complaint with police following what was initially labelled a drunken argument between the friend and the boy’s cousin.
By the time his father arrived, the youth was lying motionless in a ditch. He died a week later.
His father, Russell Wilson, a political activist who was one of the first elected to the House of Commons from northern British Columbia, has been fighting for justice for years. Despite his efforts, he says, the case is still unresolved more than two years later.
“It makes me very, very angry