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Kinngait jail cells filled with intoxicated prisoners; one man charged with aggravated assault

The RCMP have provided some additional insight into chaotic conditions on the night when a video was shot by a resident showing a forceful assault in Kinngait (Cape Dorset).

Prior to the June 1 incident where an intoxicated resident was struck by the door of an incoming police truck and arrested by five RCMP officers, Mounties dealt with a firearms complaint, which was what initially resulted in the three officers on duty being backed up by two additional officers.

As well, the detachment’s four jail cells were occupied by seven intoxicated individuals. One cell held four males. Another man, described as “extremely agitated,” was given a cell to himself. Two females were lodged in each of the two remaining cells. The two women had to be separated because they had been fighting, according to the police.

Then one of the two females was allowed to leave to make room for the male who was seen in the video. The RCMP noted that he was taken into custody under the Nunavut Liquor Act but he was not charged with any offences.

The RCMP continued to respond to more calls requiring their presence. Shortly after midnight, another man was arrested and placed in the same cell as the man from the video. A fight then broke out between those men and the man from the video was injured as a result of the assault, the RCMP stated. He was flown to Iqaluit for medical treatment.

The other man in that jail cell was subsequently charged with aggravated assault. He’s been released by the court and is scheduled to appear again on Aug. 10 in Kinngait court.

“V Division RCMP continue to work diligently to serve the community of Kinngait in managing the high volume of calls for service while balancing resources and demands placed on the members. I have ordered an administrative review of the incident in cells alongside the investigations into the actions of the officer depicted in the video released on social media.” said Chief Supt. Amanda Jones, commanding officer of the Nunavut RCMP.