The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is calling for a security guard at a FreshCo grocery store in Saskatoon to be fired and charged by police after the release of a video showing an arrest on Wednesday.
In the video posted on Facebook, the man, who is not in uniform, has the woman pinned to the ground and is trying to put handcuffs on her.
“Somebody help,” the woman can be heard saying while on the ground.
Another woman steps in and says, “Are you kidding? I don’t think you have the authority to do this.”
While the woman on the ground is struggling, the man says, “Hey, do you want to turn this into assault?”
“You’re assaulting me,” she responds. “Who are you?”
Fifty-five seconds into the video, the man identifies himself as security.
He’s still struggling to get the woman into handcuffs.
It’s not clear in the video what prompted the guard to go after the woman.
The woman struggles to her feet and punches the man.
She gets to her SUV where he follows and pins her against the driver’s seat.
“Help me,” he screams out.
The FSIN says the actions of the guard were uncalled for.
“This sad excuse of a man clearly assaulted her and needs to be held accountable for his disgusting actions,” said Chief Bobby Cameron in the statement. “We expect his immediate termination and charges to be laid against him by police today.
Cameron said the woman is from Peter Ballentyne Cree Nation.
“If this woman was non First Nations would he have done that? Never it probably would have been less of an incident, she was physically assaulted in broad daylight,” he told APTN News.
Two and a half minutes into the video, the guard is straddling her in the front seat while she screams for someone to help her.
The guard is also asking for assistance, “I’m bleeding and I need help.”
At no point does he appear to disengage with the arrest or wait for police. She’s pleading for someone to get him off her. He then asks for assistance to hold her.
“Attitudes towards our First Nations Women from the general population and the treatment of our women are deplorable at times as is reflected within this video,” said Heather Bear, FSIN vice chief Heather Bear.
According to Saskatoon police, a call was received at 4 p.m. for a report of shoplifting. The police said when officers arrived they found a woman being detained by a “loss prevention officer.” The statement said the LPO had received minor injuries.
Police said the female refused medical treatment and was taken into police custody and charged with theft under $5,000.
“Everyone, including a common citizen like the security guard seen within this video, can only use as much force as reasonable and necessary to prevent the commission of a crime as per s. 27 of the Criminal Code of Canada,” said the statement from the FSIN.
“If the crime was shoplifting, then the crime already occurred, she is not in the commission of a crime, you can not be charged with resist arrest on a common citizen like the security guard.
“We will not tolerate the continued subjection of our women to indecencies and attitudes as if they were less important to society.”
According to Chris Fowler, owner of the FreshCo store, the guard has been fired.
“First of all I’m beyond shocked and horrified. As Métis owner and a father of two daughters this should of not happened ever,” Fowler said in an email to APTN.
“I have ended my contract with the individual who was filmed as we use a third party LP company.”