The mother of a 10-year-old Kinngait boy and the RCMP have very different accounts about how the youth required five stitches to close facial wounds.

The mom says a police officer punched her child twice.

The police say the distraught boy repeatedly struck his own head against the enclosure in the backseat of an RCMP vehicle.

The incident began on Sept. 4 at approximately 6 p.m.

This boy from Kinngait wound up with three stitches above his right eye and two on the bridge of his nose. The police say he injured himself. However, his mother says a Mountie caused the wounds.
contributed photo

The mother, who Nunavut News is not identifying to protect the identity of her child, admits she was intoxicated and the RCMP came to pick her up to lodge her in a jail cell until she was sober. She says her son got angry at seeing his mom being taken away, and he broke the window of a police truck with a rock. When the mother saw the boy’s wounds the next day – three stitches above his right eye and two on the bridge of his nose – she asked what happened and he told her that a Mountie punched him.

“He didn’t sleep that night, he says from the headache,” the mother said, adding that her son is “scared of cops now.”

The mother doesn’t believe the RCMP’s version of events, that the boy inflicted his own injuries.

“No, he ain’t going to do that. He’s too young to do anything,” she said. “That’s crazy stuff … he would never hit himself that hard.”

Although she said she’s intimidated by police, the mother said she went to the RCMP detachment and confronted the officers, insisting that one of them hit her son.

“They turned all red, they all blushed. So I think they were all lying,” she said.

The boy’s mom initially said neighbours witnessed the police officer striking her son. When Nunavut News tried to arrange to speak to at least one neighbour, the mother later said it turns out only the boy’s brother saw the alleged assault occur.

‘At no time did the police strike the youth’

The RCMP say they responded to the scene that Sept. 4 evening after receiving a call about a man who suffered a stab wound to the head. Police determined a woman to be a suspect and she faces five charges, including assault with a weapon. The woman has two children, one of whom is the boy in question.

“Both of the (woman’s) children were acting out and had to be restrained at points by community members,” stated RCMP spokesman Cpl. Jamie Savikataaq.

It was actually the older brother, 13, who threw rocks and broke the RCMP pickup truck window, according to the Mounties.

The younger child was put in the backseat of an RCMP vehicle when he was “unable to calm down and after trying to assault police,” said Savikataaq.

The emotional boy repeatedly struck his head against the enclosure in the backseat of the RCMP vehicle, Savikataaq stated.

“One officer got into the backseat and applied a bandage and some pressure to his wounds. He was driven to the health centre by another officer while the first officer remained in the backseat helping to control the bleeding. At the health centre, the youth was treated and left in the care of social services,” Savikataaq said, adding that the boy was not formally arrested. “We were saddened to see the young boy harm himself and did everything we could to provide care, while trying to deal with a serious assault and a dynamic situation.”

Tensions in Kinngait

Kinngait has been the site of a couple of highly-scrutinized incidents between the RCMP and residents this year.

On Feb. 26, a Mountie shot and killed Attachie Ashoona inside a residence. Ottawa Police Service was called in to investigate.

An investigative report was completed in August, indicating that the officer’s conduct was within the law and no charges would be laid. The Nunavut RCMP later released details about the fatal confrontation, stating that Ashoona was armed with a knife, refused to drop it despite repeated orders from the officer and he was moving toward the Mountie while making stabbing motions.

On June 1, a different police officer was removed from the community, placed on administrative duties and was under investigation for his actions. A local citizen’s video that went viral showed the arresting officer using the door of his police pickup truck as a battering ram to knock over a highly-intoxicated man who was already staggering. During the arrest, which was assisted by four other officers, the suspect was kneed.

The RCMP have also detailed how jail cells in Kinngait were filled with intoxicated residents on the night of June 1. Mayor Timoon Toonoo expressed his concerns over abuse of alcohol in his community and spoke of the need for a rehabilitation centre.

Join the Conversation


  1. I’m commenting on the kid in question, as I live just next door to them.

    I witnessed what was going on that day of September 4, I heard a vehicle that went near my place, I went to go check on whom that might be, but I saw RCMP cruiser parking at my neighbors. approximately three minutes later, I heard swearing and shouting from a boy, and it was the kid in question. As I watched the kid went there being verbally aggressive at the RCMP, but I did not see the older brother of the kid in question. But the Mounties whom they were just checking out our other neighbors, the boy went there picking up rocks, and throwing them at the Mounties.
    So I watched from my kitchen window at my place, once they got a hold of the kid, the Mounties were escorting him to his place, so I followed from inside my place, to watch and see what was happening, as the kid was screaming and kicking. They went near the small shed, where at my place we got a door, so I opened it, and continued watching as the grandfather who was out for a smoke, said to the kid. “Told you, they were going to do that.”
    I closed the door, and went to go to a bedroom to continue watching what was going on, and I had my window open, just a little to listen on what the mother, and grandparents were saying “They were saying to him, not to do that.”to the boy. As the RCMP were talking to the parent/grandparents, the kid got out their side door, and continued to throw rocks and swearing at the Mounties, while running away the kid tried to run just beside my other neighbors.
    As the RCMP got a hold of the kid a second time, they put him in the cruiser. The kid must’ve supposedly hit his head against the backseats of the RCMP’s cruiser, and that’s when I saw a Mountie going on the back, and not once I did not see any of the Mountie giving a striking motion/throwing a punch, or any of that motion. Later on the Social Services Truck, drove there to pick up the kid.
    The older brother of the kid in question, was in their home the whole time. Being aggressive also, but calmed down.

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