Video captured by reporters at a journalism conference in Winnipeg appears to show a security guard at a hotel where the event is taking place roughing up a young Indigenous woman he suspected of “prowling” cars according to hotel management.
The incident at the Radisson Hotel located downtown took place Friday evening.
The conference was wrapping up for the day and several journalists were congregating in the lobby when a security guard bee-lined for an Indigenous woman who appeared to be cutting through the lobby.
“He stormed up to her and said ‘you’re under arrest’ and grabbed her arm,” said Beverly Andrews, a producer at APTN News. “That’s when he slammed her up against the wall.”
“He was hauling her roughly over to a room and she fell down, her glasses fell off and broke and a ring flew off her finger,” said Trina Roache, a video journalist with APTN Investigates.
Among the journalists watching the incident were eight APTN reporters, several of whom grabbed their phones and started recording as the security guard took the woman to a small locked room.
You can hear on the video some people saying that he doesn’t have the power to arrest her and shouldn’t be detaining her alone in the room, while the female in his grip says “I didn’t f—ing touch no vehicles.”
“My concern is he was so aggressive with her right in front of us, I was worried about her being in there with him alone,” said Roache. She can be heard saying “I don’t think this is cool” as another APTN journalist says “I don’t think this is legal” before the security guard shuts the door on them, with the woman inside.
The province’s Petty Trespasses Act permits arrest without warrant by a person authorized by property owner if the arrested person was previously given notice to not come onto the owner’s property.
It’s not clear if the woman received that warning.
Some of the journalists went to look for management while APTN’s Nunavut video journalist Kent Driscoll went outside.
He said five minutes after the incident, the woman who had been detained emerged from the hotel.
“I asked if she was OK and she said she was fine,” Driscoll said, and the woman carried on her way. The security guard came out soon after yelling to reporters that the woman was “back in the parkade.”
The same security guard was working again Saturday and when questioned about the incident for this story, said “I’m not talking” and walked away.
A front desk attendant said a manager “is not available” for questions.
An email asking about the hotel’s security protocols was sent to Canad Inns, which owns the Radisson was returned late Monday afternoon.
“Canad Inns is taking this matter seriously and is in the process of conducting its internal review,” said Lauren Beckwith, communications coordinator for Canad Inns corporate office.
“As the review is ongoing and facts are still being confirmed, I’m unable to comment at this time.
The Canadian Association of Journalists said the incident was “highly concerning.”
“We are told the hotel management is investigating the incident,” said CAJ president Karyn Pugliese, who is also the executive director of news at APTN.
“We have requested the security guard be kept away from our conference in the interest of ensuring our delegates feel safe.”
She said the CAJ will follow up with management.
There were 250 delegates from media across Canada in for the weekend conference.
The Winnipeg Police Service said did not receive a call to the hotel Friday evening.
The security guard in the video has by identified as a band member by the Lake Manitoba First Nation in Treaty 2 territory.