Crown and the defense provide closing arguments in the attack process for the former commander of Nunavut’s RCMP unit
In a week and a half, the Nunavut court will rule on whether a former RCMP squad commander is guilty of assaulting a man he has arrested.
Ian Crowe, who was the head of the department in Sanirajak, Nunavut when he was charged with assault in June 2020, has been on trial since Tuesday. He testified in his own defense on Wednesday.
Judge Susan Charlesworth, who is hearing this case, will make her decision on the afternoon of March 6th.
On Tuesday, the court heard from Const. Tyson Richard, who worked with Crowe on the day in question and reported the alleged attack.
He testified that tensions were rising between Crowe and a man who had been arrested twice that same day, with the second arrest culminating in Crowe repeatedly smashing the man’s face into gravel as he and Richard took the man to the police station brought.
On Wednesday, Crowe testified that the man’s injuries were the result of the handcuffed man falling on his face and being unable to support himself.
During cross-examination on Thursday, Crowe admitted he yelled and verbally abused the man who refused to let go of a lighter. The alleged attack, Richard said, would have happened immediately afterwards.
In Thursday’s closing arguments, Crown Prosecutor Leo Lane argued that Crowe was angry and lost his cool, which led to the attack. Lane pointed out that Crowe had removed the mattress from the cell they put the man in, arguing it was an “act of cruelty” in not having to remove it and showing that Crowe was angry.
The court heard the man remained in the cell without a mattress and partially undressed for about 16 hours until his bail hearing the next day.
Video from the cells also shows Crowe kneeling the man twice and hitting him once while they were taking him to his cell, which Crowe confirmed during his testimony.
The court also heard that Crowe had offered to take the man to the health center, but the man declined. The court later heard that RCMP protocol required officers to examine butts of wounded individuals or provide medical care.
Defense attorney Robb Beeman said the case boiled down to “he said he said”.
He argued that Richard’s memory was not reliable since Richard had stated that he could not remember certain details from that day. Richard also testified that he did not mention the incident in his general report or notes and only reported it 11 days later, which Richard said was because he was concerned Crowe – who was his supervisor – would read the report.
The alleged attack was also not mentioned in Crowe’s general report that day.