The RCMP in Yellowknife have cleared officers accused of assaulting Benjamin Manuel, a Dene man and dropping him outside of a convenience store in the city.
In a release sent late Friday afternoon, the Mounties said “no RCMP officers had contact with the victim on the day of the alleged assault.”
RCMP identified and charged two of the three suspects they say attacked against Manuel on that day – a man and a teenager – in a park.
According to the statement, Jamal Moosenose, 22, and a 16 year old who cannot be named have been charged with assault causing bodily harm.
RCMP noted in the press release they had responded to a call on, June 10, around 7:48 pm in the Somba ‘Ke Park area, of downtown Yellowknife.
The park is a few hundred meters from the RCMP detachment, on the same road, but when the police arrived and saw a victim he was leaving the park.
RCMP said in the release they were unable to speak to the victim before he disappeared and were unsuccessful in their search for him in the surrounding area.
When contacted by APTN News, Manuel said he doesn’t remember any attack in the park and maintains he was picked up by RCMP.
“I don’t even know who they are – the investigator came to me and said one of the young offenders was thrown in jail and the adult is not supposed to come around me,” he said.
Manuel brought up the process of the investigation.
“Investigating feels like interrogating. They came to where I was working, on a job site, outside the grocery store they came to me there and followed my girlfriend right to the Women’s Centre,”
On June 13, Manuel accused the officers of assaulting him and leaving him by the roadside.
His girlfriend said she saw him being placed in the back of a cruiser.
Manuel’s employer also vouched for him.
The RCMP told media after Manuel went public that they had launched an investigation into the allegations of police brutality.
On June 13, also RCMP launched a separate investigation after receiving information from witnesses that claimed three men were involved in the attack in the park and that the victim was possibly Benjamin Manuel.
RCMP Insp. Alex Laporte with Yellowknife RCMP is quoted in the release saying that the police are working with Manuel.
“We continue to work with the victim, to support him through the trauma of an assault. I also thank the GIS investigators and other members who assisted with this investigation to date,” Laporte said.
When asked about counselling, Manuel said he was asked by police to visit victim services.