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.
The RCMP officer appeared in a video on YouTube that a student claimed was recorded in 2016. In it, the officer is shown making sexual advances towards the teenager. The student, who was not named, also alleged a second man, who was not identified, sexually harassed the student. When their allegations were reported to their superiors, the officers were placed on administrative leave and eventually discharged.
The video disappeared from the Internet almost immediately, after the teen’s family posted it on Facebook. The family told a CBC news station they had not been given any official information on the incident, and, as of Monday afternoon, said they had not yet received another letter from the RCMP.
After CBC posted the story, a man who was identified as an RCMP officer contacted the CBC to say he was in the video. In an interview, he called the incident unfortunate, but said the officer in question had apologized for his actions.
“I don’t think that it was the RCMP’s intention to cause harm to anyone, and I understand the family’s position,” said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the media. “If it could be made clear whether there was any malice involved, I would be more than willing to speak.”
The officer, who was not identified by name, also said he had seen the video before CBC published it and had never spoken with the student or the family about it. He said he had a lot of sympathy for the family.
“When I looked at the circumstances, I think that this video is being twisted by some elements of society,” he said. “What I did was, I went to find out what had become of the video, and this particular family is really being victimized by this issue.�