APTN National News
An RCMP officer involved in the Oct. 17 raid on a Mi’kmaq-led anti-fracking camp in New Brunswick is under an internal investigation for saying “Crown land belongs to the government, not to fucking natives.”
An RCMP spokeswoman said the force was informed of the statement on Oct. 18 and immediately sent the officer home and he is now the subject of an internal investigation.
“This type of behaviour is unacceptable and is taken very seriously by the RCMP,” said Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh.
Rogers-Marsh wouldn’t say whether the officer was suspended.
“I am unable to confirm that information as it is part of the ongoing internal investigation,” said Rogers-Marsh.
RCMP tactical units, some in camouflage and wielding automatic weapons, walked in on the anti-fracking camp on the morning of Oct. 17. The camp, which was secured by the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society, was blocking a compound holding exploration vehicles owned by Houston-based company SWN Resources Canada. The company is exploring the region for shale gas deposits.
The RCMP raid freed the company’s vehicles, but also triggered hours-long clashes between residents from Elsipogtog First Nation, which sits 15 kilometres away, and RCMP officers. Several RCMP vehicles were set on fire and 40 people were arrested after clashes that saw police use pepper spray, tear gas and fire rubber bullets. The RCMP also seized three rifles and crude explosive devices.
APTN National News reporter Ossie Michelin, who was on the scene during the day of the raid, initially reported the statement made by one of the officers who was a member of the tactical units.
Since Michelin’s report, shadowy online hacking group Anonymous took up the cause and recently released video that captured the voice of a barely visible RCMP officer in the woods making the statement which immediately triggered a reaction from Elsipogtog residents.
Rogers-Marsh said Anonymous had nothing to do with the RCMP’s decision to put the officer under an internal probe.
“We were made aware of it way before that was posted on-line,” she said.
Anonymous said in a statement to APTN National News it was “crafting a wicked little plan to get (New Brunswick Premier David Alward) to suddenly announce a referendum.” The group provided no other details.