An administrative review has cleared a Yellowknife RCMP officer of any wrongdoing after it was alleged a man suffered a fractured rib while in police custody earlier this year.
An “independent officer review,” conducted in-house by an RCMP member not involved in the incident, found the Mountie acted reasonably and followed protocol when he forcibly removed an intoxicated man – Randy Allen – from inside a stolen car on February 2019 in Yellowknife, states a news release issued Thursday.
At a sentencing hearing for Allen in April – he received a 120-day jail term for impaired driving – his lawyer Jessi Casebeer told the court her client, who was limp and falling in and out of consciousness, suffered a fractured rib after an RCMP officer kneeled on him during the arrest.
He was later treated at Stanton Territorial Hospital.
“While it is possible the man could have been injured while being removed from the vehicle and taken into custody, (the review) was unable to determine when the injury occurred,” states the media release.
RCMP dashcam footage of the incident, obtained by Casebeer, only captured the aftermath of the arrest.
Police now say that’s because the camera, which turns on when the vehicle’s lights and sirens are activated manually, wasn’t operating during the arrest.
“The RCMP member involved did not activate their lights and siren, so as not to startle the driver into possible action,” states the media release.
“The device was activated manually as soon as the member was able to secure the person and place them into the police vehicle.”
Insp. Alex Laporte, commanding officer at the Yellowknife Detachment, states the actions of the officer “ensured a safe resolution to a fluid and risky situation.”
“We thoroughly reviewed the incident and find the officer acted reasonably and took immediate action to protect the public, the individual and themselves from the potential threat of a stolen vehicle being put in motion by a possibly intoxicated driver,” states Laporte, adding RCMP policies and procedures were followed accordingly.