A video allegedly showed an RCMP officer sexually harassing an Indigenous teen. Then it went missing. Inside allegations of misconduct and cover-up in Canada’s national police force.
At the end of a three-year RCMP investigation, a video emerged reportedly showing a Manitoba teenager being sexually harassed by an officer. That video, which appears to have vanished from public view, is now coming under close scrutiny following a report by the RCMP’s Manitoba Serious Incident Response Team.
In an audio recording of an internal communications meeting, Manitoba RCMP Assistant Commissioner David Thompson alleges the teenager was harassed by a senior constable who asked her to be his girlfriend and she denied his advances.
Thompson then called the police, but instead of investigating, the RCMP allegedly destroyed a DVD of the alleged incident. Two other senior officers reportedly lied to investigators.
The Manitoba RCMP and the Manitoba Serious Incident Response Team say the video was never officially disclosed.
In a report following the Manitoba RCMP investigation, the Winnipeg Police Association described the incident as “inappropriate.” The union says it’s the “first time it’s ever been reported.”
The Manitoba RCMP said the allegations it investigates are handled by the Manitoba Serious Incident Response Team. The team is part of the RCMP’s Manitoba Centre for Integrated Policing, a team that investigates allegations of police behaviour.
The Manitoba police watchdog also has been briefed on the case, and the report is expected to be released later this year.
The teen’s identity has not been made public.
However, he went by the name of Jason Smith in media interviews after the incident allegedly took place in February 2017.
The Winnipeg Police Association has called the alleged incident sexual harassment.
That allegation – coming as it does a day after the release of the RCMP report – is the focus of an RCMP investigation.
During the incident, it’s alleged the RCMP deputy chief constable at the time was alone with the teen when they discussed the alleged incident and a third party.
In the audio recording of the internal meeting, which was provided to the Winnipeg Police Association, Thompson alleges the constable told