‘I just started to scream’: Aunt of Innu woman forced onto plane by RCMP say police wouldn’t let her help

Nympha Rich says her niece needs help, not court appearances.


The aunt of the Innu woman who was forced onto an RCMP plane screaming says police wouldn’t let her help calm her niece down.

On Tuesday, the video of a woman screaming while three male officers force her onto an RCMP plane was posted on Facebook.

“I just started to scream, scream like scream so loud I lost my voice a couple of days ago too because of that screaming,” says Nympha Rich.

Her niece, Cheyenne Rich, was being forced to board the police plane in Natuashish, Labrador, to attend court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, 300 km to the south.

Nympha Rich said at first she tried to intervene.

“A police officer start hitting her on the face and then I tried to stop him and then that policeman came towards me and then he pushed me against the police truck,” she said.

Then she grabbed her boyfriend’s iPhone, to film what was happening, “because I wanted to show my people and the other people to see what police officers are like.”


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Nympha says she was not allowed to talk to Cheyenne to calm her down and that she struggles with mental illness which started getting her into legal troubles.

Her family is angry and do not trust the police.

According to the RCMP, Cheyenne assaulted an officer and now she has been charged.

Nympha said the police could have handled the situation better.

“I think it’s not right hitting a woman; he could have done something else, not hitting her,” said Nympha.

The police report says Cheyenne did not suffer any physical injuries, but Nympha said she saw the police hitting Cheyenne.

“When I saw the police officer hitting my niece, I told them how you would feel if you have the same situation that I have right now she’s my niece, that’s what I told them,” said Nympha.

When Cheyenne was taken to Goose Bay, her family did not know what happened or how long she would be in custody.

Nympha wants her niece to receive treatment for her mental health illness, not spend time with court appearances.

Video Journalist / Halifax

Angel Moore is a proud Cree from the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. Angel grew up in Winnipeg and has a Journalism degree from the University of King’s College. She also has a degree from Dalhousie University in International Development Studies and Environmental Sustainability. Angel joined APTN News in June 2018 as the correspondent in the Halifax bureau and covers Atlantic Canada.