Video showing woman knocked out, dragged to RCMP cell prompts lawsuit, call for investigation ¶
By: NicolaShepherd on Nov. 15, 2020, 6:48 p.m.
I came across this article of an Indigenous women in Manitoba that had been apprehended by the RCMP in 2018 on suspicion of intoxication which she claims was slipping on ice. The video footage shows two male officers and one female officer surrounding one 19-year-old female as she takes off her belt. She is seen throwing the belt at one of them and then one of the male officers proceeds to punch her in the face and knocks her unconscious. The women is Ganesta Garson from Tataskweyak Cree Nation and the incident occurred at the Thompson detachment. All of the officers go into action by removing her pants and dragging and shoving her into a cell. She is left and they call the ambulance. The article discusses and suggests that extreme and unnecessary force was used on Garson. She is seen being dragged about roughly and her head and body being lugged, dragged, and shoved roughly. However, they do call her an ambulance and she does spend the night in the care of the hospital. Garson has since filed a civil lawsuit against the RCMP, the RCMP officer, the two safety officers involved and the City of Thompson. "The violence experienced by an MKO citizen at the hands of the RCMP is shocking and unacceptable," said Grand Chief Garrison Settee in a prepared statement. I am in agreeance with him. The video indicates that this is very unnecessary to have punched her in the face and then treat her with further indignity by carelessly and roughly handling her body. Supporters of Garson believe that this is an act of racism and abuse of power against a female indigenous person. Even if it was not an anti indigenous maneuver, I do not understand why he needed to punch her in the face. She is one young female and there are three officers. It just seems really unfair. I am disappointed that the detachment does not take any ownership on the wrongdoings of the officers. They are denying all allegations. I hope that they all are held responsible for their unacceptable actions. However, after the incident Garson was charged with assaulting an officer but it was later stayed. Garson along with her representation filed for a formal complaint with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission against the RCMP. After the filing officers showed up at Garson’s door asking her to withdraw the complaint. The incident shows a failed system that lacks transparency.
King touches on the unfair treatment of Indigenous peoples and how they are treated as sub-human. There is much more to uncover between police injustices towards these disenfranchised people and apparently there are many more like it. Some of these resulting in death even.