The town of Happy Valley Goose Bay in Labrador says it has put an enforcement officer on administrative duties after a video surfaced of him throwing an Inuk man to the ground.
The video shows an officer holding an Inuk man against the hood of a Happy Valley-Goose Bay municipal enforcement vehicle while he searches him. The man turns slightly to his right and the officer throws him to the ground.
Lela Evans, the member of the house of assembly for the area, posted the video on Friday.
“I am speechless. Today in Happy Valley Goose Bay), Labrador (clearly written on the patrol vehicle) an Inuk with hands cuffed behind his back – thrown violently to the ground,” Evans wrote on Facebook.
Watch the video posted by Lela Evans here:
NunatuKavut Community Council president Todd Russell issued a statement Saturday saying the video shows a troubling example of violence against Indigenous people and is evidence of the structural racism that exists in Canadian law enforcement.
Russell is calling for a thorough investigation into the incident and commends whoever first posted the video to social media.
The town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay also issued a statement Saturday saying a municipal enforcement officer had been put on administrative duties in connection with the video and the town is seeking an independent investigation.
“This matter is of the utmost importance and taken quite seriously by the Mayor, Council, and Management of the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay,” said the statement from the town. “No further comment will be available on this matter, pending the outcome of the investigation.”
The town will not say what the man was doing when detained by the officer or whether he was arrested.
There is only one enforcement officer listed on the town’s website. The other position is vacant.
Enforcement officers in Happy Valley Goose Bay are not the police in the town but are responsible for enforcing community bylaws including animal control and noise complaints.
The town is policed by the RCMP.
Correction: The enforcement officer who hasn’t been named has been put on administrative duties and not on administrative leave as the original story said.
With files from the Canadian Press