A Mountie who pointed a gun at a woman mistaken for a suspect in a drug trafficking investigation acted by the book and followed “risk assessment” protocol, say Yellowknife RCMP.
CBC North reported Tuesday that Mika Kondo, 28, was parked in her gray Honda Civic Coupe, outside of 52 Street’s Mary Murphy Home on Dec. 3 when a man, who turned out to be a Yellowknife RCMP officer, aimed a handgun at her head.
Unaware that the man was an RCMP officer, Kondo said she thought she was being robbed. The city resident of three years told CBC North the Mountie, who looked to be “undercover,” opened her driver’s seat door — gun still raised — before her sister, sitting in the backseat, pulled it shut. The officer reportedly yelled questions about Kondo’s car, including how long she had owned it.
After putting her hands above her head, Kondo — distraught and physically shaken — said the Mountie returned to his black SUV without apologizing or providing contact information.
“Traumatized” by the incident, Kondo told the broadcaster she’s had nightmares following the encounter. Kondo said she feels scared whenever she sees a police officer.
RCMP spokesperson Marie York-Condon confirmed to Yellowknifer that an officer “approached (Kondo’s) vehicle with (his) firearm drawn,” in the midst of drug investigation involving two suspects.
According to York-Condon, the investigation began early in the afternoon of Dec. 3 after Mounties were called to a downtown apartment.
“Upon attending, RCMP entered into an investigation in which the parties were known to each other and was potentially linked to drug trafficking.”
York-Condon stated there were “safety concerns regarding the suspects,” but not to the public at large. Police were given a description of a vehicle linked to the suspects, and officers were “on the lookout” for the vehicle, she stated. Around 7 p.m., RCMP received another call from the same downtown apartment. The caller indicated the suspects had returned to the area, according to York-Condon.
“On arrival, RCMP members observed a vehicle matching the suspect’s vehicle description leaving the area. As such, the member took precautions as per training on risk assessment, and approached the vehicle with firearm drawn,” she stated.
Yellowknife RCMP did not provide an answer when asked what model, make and colour of vehicle they were searching for.
Kondo told Yellowknifer on Thursday she called the detachment following the incident. Police told her they had been looking for a “grey Toyota car,” she said.
“This happens from time to time given the type of files/complaints members may respond to and is consistent with regular training for officer safety,” added the RCMP spokesperson.
After realizing Kondo and her vehicle were not connected to the investigation, the Mountie returned to his vehicle after apologizing, York-Condon told Yellowknifer.
Kondo told CBC North there was no apology — or explanation — from the officer.
Kondo reportedly turned down an offer to receive an in-person apology from the Mountie.
On Thursday, Kondo told Yellowknifer she doesn’t plan on filing a formal complaint against the Mountie.
“I’m simply not interested in punishing the officer,” wrote Kondo.
“It’s better to think positively and let life move on.”
Kondo added she’s felt unsafe driving following the incident.
“But it (will) get better I hope,” stated Kondo.
Yellowknife RCMP remains open to meeting with Kondo to discuss the incident.
“We understand this could be upsetting and (Kondo) is welcome to attend the detachment,” wrote York-Condon.
Because the officer followed “risk assessment” training, Yellowknife RCMP will not be opening a review of the incident, York-Condon told Yellowknifer.
Asked whether or not the two suspects sought in the Dec. 3 drug probe were ever apprehended, York-Condon stated the investigation remains “active.”