FNs man claims Yukon RCMP brutality

A 48 year-old First Nations man says he woke up naked and with a broken shoulder in a Whitehorse drunk tank and he believes surveillance video will show he was the victim of police brutality.

By Shirley McLean
APTN National News
WHITEHORSE
-A 48 year-old First Nations man says he woke up naked and with a broken shoulder in a Whitehorse drunk tank and he believes surveillance video will show he was the victim of police brutality.

Wayne Hare said he was picked up by RCMP early on the morning of Jan. 15 after a night of drinking at a local bar in the city. He says the last thing he remembers is waiting for a cab.

The Yukon RCMP recently made a public commitment to improve relations with First Nations and treat prisoners better. The federal force has faced several scandals over the treatment of First Nations people who have been taken to the drunk tank.

One man was laughed at by officers who watched him on video slowly dying in his cell.

Hare believes he was treated brutally because he is First Nation.

“I can’t put anything in my mind that says different,” he said.

“I’m not sure if I was blacked out or when I was arrested I was knocked unconscious,” he said. “Was there a fight going on when the RCMP picked me up, was there anything going on?”

Hare believes he was the victim of police brutality and wants to view the surveillance tapes from the drunk tank.

“If I was injured when they picked me up, why wasn’t I immediately taken to the hospital,” he said.

He said an ambulance was called after he woke up hours later in the cell.

Hare says he’s not a violent person and admits he’s been in the drunk tank time about six times before the latest incident.

He is now in the process of getting a lawyer and has written a letter to the RCMP’s chief superintendent seeking answers.

The RCMP says an independent police service from Alberta has been called to investigate the incident.

“I would like to know what happened, honestly,” he said. “If I was wrong or if I did anything wrong I would like to know…As it stands now, nobody is saying anything and that in itself is suspect.”

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Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.