Alberta RCMP uses conductive weapons, the force that arrests suspects using metal pipes will not be investigated
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team will not investigate an officer’s actions during an arrest in a First Nation in southern Alberta that involved the use of an energy weapon that was conducted and That decision did not sit well with some residents of the area.
Mounties has also released still images collected during the incident to provide more context.
The RCMP has released a Watchguard video showing a man armed with a metal pipe, believed to be suspect Dylan Bird, threatening an RCMP member during the November 23 arrest in Kainai Country. (provided: RCMP)
Members of the Blood Tribe gathered to protest outside the RCMP detachment in Cardston on Monday, seeking answers over the arrest of 27-year-old Dylan Riley Bird.
“He had epilepsy, he was born with a missing piece of his skull so there was a patch, I think he was scared, he was trying to protect himself. He didn’t know what was going on and he was scared and he reacted,” said Bird’s uncle, Ronald Panther Bone.
Protest organizer Melissa Prairie Chicken said the event drew attention to police brutality.
“They shouldn’t have done that. That sucks,” she said. “Just because they have the authority doesn’t mean they have the authority to hit us.”
Bird was walking down the street last week when an RCMP officer tried to arrest him for a wanted warrant on charges of intimidation, criminal harassment and mischief.
According to police, Bird was holding a metal pipe, which he used to hit an officer while he was under arrest, causing minor injuries.
That’s when the officer used the lead energy weapon on Bird twice and he was taken into custody.
Cardston RCMP Sgt said: “Both the first and second deployments of the energy weapon conducted were unsuccessful in gaining control of the subject. Robert Wright in a video statement. “The officer called for assistance and a nearby officer was immediately on the scene to assist in the arrest of the suspect.”
Bird, a member of the Kainai Nation, faces new charges related to:
- Two counts of assaulting a peace officer causing bodily harm;
- Assaulting a peace officer;
- Jam; and.
- Failure to comply with release orders.
ASIRT has begun an investigation into the use of force, but the incident is considered to be outside the scope of supervision of the prefectural police.
The RCMP is currently conducting an internal review.
“Alberta RCMP believes in fact-finding processes and it is important that the processes in place to assess the actions of all involved, including the police, are fair,” said Wright. transparent and defensible.
But that process didn’t go well with the members of the Blood Tribe.
“We’ve been through this all our lives and it’s going to stop. Should have protected us, not brutalized us,” said Panther Bone.
The group meets at a local gas station before walking down Main Street to the RCMP detachment. Blood Tribe members who attended Monday’s protest said they were concerned about stereotyping. Panther Bone says he’s experienced it firsthand.
“They see a native doing something bad and they automatically drive over, we all do. Panther Bone said.
Bird was released before a scheduled court date of December 13 in Cardston.
With files from CTV Lethbridge’s Karsen Marczuk