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Police watchdog deems no wrongdoing in Long Plain incident

By Portage Daily Graphic, Portage Daily Graphic

An investigation into the injury of a suspect while in the custody of Dakota Ojibway Police Service (DOPS) has determined no charges should be laid against the arresting officer, says the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba.

According to the IIU, on the afternoon of Dec. 3, 2016, DOPS responded to a call for service concerning an intoxicated and belligerent male who was causing a disturbance and punching holes into walls at a residence on Long Plain First Nation.

The 50-year-old male was arrested and transported to the Long Plain detachment and while in custody, the man became very agitated and wrapped various articles of clothing around his neck. On five occasions, the female DOPS officer entered his cell to remove those articles of clothing. The man also continuously punched at the cell door and a window. That night, the man complained of pain in his hand and elbow, and was transported to hospital for assessment where the attending physician determined he had a broken bone in his right hand.

IIU investigators reviewed video surveillance recordings of the confrontations between the officer and prisoner and found no instance of the officer using any excessive or unnecessary force on the man.

The video was also reviewed by a specialist who treated the man’s hand injury, where he stated the injury was consistent with a person punching a very hard object, such as a wall.

IIU Civilian Director Zane Tessler stated in his report that the man’s own conduct was solely responsible for his injuries, which were unrelated to anything done or force used by the officer.

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