Yellowknife RCMP have opened an administrative review into allegations a man suffered a fractured rib during a drunk driving arrest earlier this year.
The allegations surfaced during a sentencing hearing for thirty-one-year-old Randy Allen, who, on April 9, received a 120- day jail term for operating a vehicle while impaired.
On Feb. 19, an intoxicated Allen was located by Mounties behind the wheel of a parked vehicle that had been reported stolen. He was forcibly removed from the vehicle, taken to the ground and arrested by officers.
At the sentencing hearing, Allen’s lawyer Jessi Casebeer told the court her client, who was “limp” and “falling in and out of consciousness,” at the time of his arrest, sustained a “significant,” injury as a result of the arrest.
Allen, she said, was treated for a fractured rib at Stanton Territorial Hospital after spending a night in RCMP cells following his arrest. Casebeer said Allen told her the injury occured when an officer kneeled on him.
Casebeer requested dash cam footage of the incident from RCMP, but the recording she received only showed the aftermath of the arrest, not the arrest itself. Casebeer told Yellowknifer she didn’t ask police directly why the arrest itself wasn’t recorded.
In a news release issued Wednesday, Mounties, who confirmed to Yellowknifer earlier this month the incident was being investigated, announced the initiation of an “administrative review of the matter.”
“Yellowknife RCMP arrested a male on February 19, 2019. The male was brought into custody and placed in cells. The man appeared before court in relation to the charges, and during the court proceedings, comments from the defence counsel inferred the man was injured while in custody,” stated Wednesday’s news release from RCMP.
Adding they “take any allegation or reference to a possible injury while in custody very seriously,” RCMP say they’ve now commenced a review, which will be conducted by a “comissioned officer (Inspector) who is independent of the involved incident.”
The administrative review is ongoing, and as such, RCMP say they won’t be releasing further details at this time.