RCMP civilian oversight agency launches 'systemic review' of public complaints process in Nunavut

·2 min read
The RCMP detachment in Kugaaruk, Nunavut, pictured on Sept. 30, 2020. A federal oversite commission is conducting a review of the Nunavut RCMP public complaints process.  (John Last/CBC - image credit)
The RCMP detachment in Kugaaruk, Nunavut, pictured on Sept. 30, 2020. A federal oversite commission is conducting a review of the Nunavut RCMP public complaints process. (John Last/CBC - image credit)

The agency charged with oversight of the RCMP is investigating the complaint process for the Nunavut RCMP.

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP, said in a news release this would be a "systemic review."

The release said it will look at the RCMP's policies and training related to the public complaint process; whether or not it is complying with policies and training; and the RCMP's accountability framework in relation to the public complaints process.

The investigation will also look "into the awareness of and confidence in the public complaint process in Nunavut."

The news release said the investigation will not make any determinations on specific incidents or the conduct of individual RCMP members.

The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP has been criticized by some lawyers for not using its available powers and being outdated.

 

In 2020 several Nunavut leaders called for a territory-wide review of the RCMP after more than 30 cases emerged involving allegations of police brutality, misconduct and insensitivity.

David Qamaniq, who formerly represented Tununiq as MLA, was one of those. His son was shot by police in Pond Inlet in 2017.

"It is tragic to think that acts of police misconduct result in failures in the criminal justice system. This is clearly something that needs to be brought to light," he said in an email to CBC News in 2020.

The relationship between RCMP and civilians has been particularly fraught in Nunavut recently, following several police shootings of civilians.

In October, the jury for a coroner's inquest into the police shooting of Charles Qirngnirq in 2016 ruled Qirngnirq's death a homicide. A separate jury made the same finding this past March in the police shooting of Jeremy Nuvviaq in 2017 in Sanirajaq.

In April, Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, developed a plan with Mounties to help improve the relationship.

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