A video allegedly showed an RCMP officer sexually harassing an Indigenous teen. Then it went missing. Inside allegations of misconduct and cover-up in Canada’s national police force.
Now, three years after the alleged incident was first reported, the video is making the rounds again — and the subject matter is making headline news again.
And a former Toronto police officer is now the subject of a criminal investigation. In a new twist, the former officer’s boss called police to investigate alleged criminal activity — the same police force that is investigating the incident.
In a news conference Tuesday, Toronto Police Board chair Carolle Robinson-Holt said her office is looking into what happened and will get to the bottom of it.
“We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the video,” Robinson-Holt said Wednesday. “We’re looking to find out if the videos, as has occurred in the past, are being altered. We are reviewing the evidence. We are looking to see if there are other ways, other possibilities, for the video to be altered or manipulated.”
The report, the second in a series of reports by the National Post and the Toronto Star and the first of a series of reports by Global News, alleges harassment and intimidation at the hands of police officers in two Indigenous communities, including a rape that took place in a police car.
The video, which was first tweeted by the National Post’s Ben Spurr in February 2016, shows what appears to be a Toronto police officer sitting beside a young man, who is wearing shorts and nothing more than a bra, and is holding a cellphone. The officer can be seen pulling up a manila folder, then handing the man a document and a pen.
In the video, the young Indigenous man appears to be trying to walk away from the officer but the officer keeps stopping him, apparently to get him to open the closed-file folder he is holding out, so the man can open it and read what is inside.
The young man takes the folder, opens it, takes out the document and the officer stops him