Aboriginal chief says Canadian police beat him for expired license plate


WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – An indigenous chief alleged Saturday that Canadian police beat him in March after an incident involving an expired license plate on his truck.

Chief Allan Adam of Athabasca Chipeywan First Nation displays his injuries which he claims were caused by officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) from the Wood Buffalo Detachment during an incident in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada , March 10, 2020. Photo taken March 10, 2020. 2020. Courtesy of Allan Adam via REUTERS.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), however, says the officers used reasonable force after Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation resisted the arrest and laid criminal charges against him.

Adam made the allegations as protests spread worldwide after the death of a black man in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis.

This week, Aboriginal people expressed outrage at two other incidents with Canadian police, including the shooting of a young woman.

Adam, speaking in Fort McMurray, Alberta, said the RCMP approached his parked truck on March 10 as he and his wife prepared to leave a city casino.

After the police refused to answer why they stopped, the couple began to walk away before an officer ordered them to stop, and pulled Adam’s wife from the seat driver, said Adam.

He then intervened. One officer grabbed his arm while a second knocked him over and hit him, said Adam.

“We are a minority and no one speaks for us,” said Adam.

High police examined the video in the car and determined that the police action was reasonable and that an external investigation was not warranted, said Const. Patrick Lambert.

But Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said he was “deeply disturbed” by a photo of Adam’s swollen, bloody face taken after the incident.

“Although we cannot comment on a specific case in court, we will closely monitor the progress of these serious and disturbing claims. ”

Adam’s lawyer called on the police to release his video and suspend an officer.

The chief is scheduled to appear in court on July 2, accused of resisting the arrest and assaulting the police.

Adam said he had waited to report the incident because he was busy taking pandemic precautions.

Rod Nickel report to Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Chris Reese

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