Prince Albert Grand Council questions use of force during arrest caught on video

Prince Albert Grand Council questions use of force during arrest caught on video
WATCH: A video of an arrest by Prince Albert police, posted on Facebook by Rez R Us, shows an Indigenous man being thrown to the ground by an officer.

The Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) says an officer used a proper physical technique during the arrest of an Indigenous man last week.

The Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC), which represents 12 Indigenous nations in Saskatchewan, says it doesn’t see it that way.

Police said they were called to a local business on the evening of June 26 for a report of a man who was attempting to fight several people.

Read more: Charges dropped against Alberta First Nations Chief Allan Adam

A video of the arrest, posted on Facebook by Rez R Us, shows the man being thrown to the ground.

“We are disturbed by the use of force used by the officer in the video. It is hard to see our Indigenous people treated aggressively like this, and I have serious questions about what happened and why it happened this way,” said PAGC Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte.

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“We have been making progress in building trust and better relationships with the PAPS, and we are concerned that incidents like this pose a serious setback in our collective efforts to create positive change.”

A PAPS spokesperson said in a statement that the “physical takedown seen in the video is a technique members are trained to use in the course of their work as police officers.”

Read more: Trudeau says video of Chief Allan Adam’s RCMP arrest raises ‘serious questions’

Hardlotte is calling for a meeting with police Chief Jon Bergen and Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne to discuss the arrest.

PAPS said it is open to meeting with PAGC on Tuesday to discuss the technique used during the arrest.

PAGC said it also wants to discuss the city’s proposed back alley bylaw.

Under the proposed bylaw, access to back alleys and walkways would be restricted after dark.

PAGC said it would permit officers to use greater force and maintains that police already have the power to investigate suspicious activity.

The council added that the proposed bylaw will lead to more discrimination and racial profiling against Indigenous people in the future.

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