The violent arrest of an Inuk man in Nunavut, captured on video, has once again raised questions about policing in Canada’s north and relations between the country’s Indigenous communities, racial minorities and the national police force.
The video of the man in the Inuit community of Kinngait being struck by the door of a moving police truck and then being wrestled to the ground by five police officers is also reviving calls for mandatory body cameras for Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers serving in Canada’s Arctic territory.
Speaking at his daily press conference in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the video and reports that have surfaced over the last few days are “disturbing” and bring to light “the systemic realities facing far too many Canadians.”
“I think far too many Canadians feel fear and anxiety at the sight of law enforcement officers and authorities of various ways because we continue to have systemic racism in this country, systemic discrimination,” Trudeau said. “That means that Indigenous Canadians, racialized Canadians are vulnerable in these situations.”