MKO demands meeting with RCMP after CBC uncovers video of woman punched in custody

A group that advocates for Northern First Nations is demanding a meeting with RCMP following a CBC investigation which uncovered security video of a woman from Tataskweyak Cree Nation being punched by a community safety officer at its Thompson detachment. 

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak issued a statement Monday denouncing the treatment of Genesta Garson while in custody of Thompson RCMP in 2018.

“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.

A security video, obtained by CBC through a court application, showed the events that unfolded after the 19-year-old was picked up by safety officers on the suspicion of being intoxicated. It shows she was taken into custody at the detachment and subsequently knocked unconscious by a safety officers after she threw her belt at him.

She was then dragged into a nearby cell before an ambulance was called and she spent the night at the Thompson General Hospital.

Genesta Garson was detained at the RCMP detachment in Thompson, Man. on Jan. 6, 2018 after officers suspected her of being drunk. This is the security video taken from that night, which shows an officer knocking her unconscious. 1:49

“We will be meeting with the RCMP to address this callous act of violence against an Indigenous woman as we are one of the strongest advocates of the protection of women in Canada. This is deeply disturbing,” said Settee.  

The video shows Garson knocked unconscious by a safety officer, a quasi by-law officer who is employed by the City of Thompson.

However, the incident occurred in the detachment and one of the three officers seen in the video is a female RCMP officer. 

Garson has since filed a civil lawsuit against the RCMP, the RCMP officer, the two safety officers involved and the City of Thompson. 

Officials with the RCMP have declined to comment on the specifics of the case because the matter is still before the courts.

Both RCMP and the City of Thompson have denied all allegations in the statement of claim as part of their defence. 

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