Tyrell Giroux was arrested by Williams Lake RCMP on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Facebook video screenshot)

Tyrell Giroux was arrested by Williams Lake RCMP on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Facebook video screenshot)

Tsilhqot’in leaders call for suspension of officers seen in controversial Williams Lake arrest

Disturbing video demands an immediate, independent investigation, says TNG

The Tsilhqot’in National Government is calling for an independent investigation and the immediate suspension of Williams Lake RCMP officers captured in a widely-shared video showing a controversial takedown and arrest of a suspect.

The footage, which has more than 4,000 shares since being posted Sunday, Oct. 25, shows a Mountie attempting to subdue a male suspect, who is believed to be Indigenous. Another RCMP officer arrives and appears to kick and then punch the suspect.

As her dad drove past the unfolding incident, Charli Fortier of the Simpcw First Nation hastily filmed the officers in which she can be heard yelling at them to stop.

“Unfortunately, the threat of the unwarranted, unnecessary violence from the RCMP is a reality that Indigenous peoples face,” Tsilhqot’in tribal chair Chief Joe Alphonse said in a Oct. 26 news release.

“We demand a full, independent investigation into this incident and the immediate suspension of the officers that were involved, and we will not rest until there is accountability for this incident and an end to police brutality against Indigenous peoples.”

Upon learning of the arrest North District RCMP Commander Chief Superintendent Warren Brown announced on Oct. 26 that a review of the incident has been launched.

READ MORE: Video catches police pursuit that ends with man kicked, punched in Williams Lake

READ MORE: Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

He added a code of conduct investigation has also been launched by Williams Lake RCMP Officer in Charge Insp. Jeff Pelley.

“Following a preliminary review, we can say that the civilian video, while it captures part of the arrest, does not provide the full-scope of the arrest and provides no context with respect to what precipitated the arrest,” Brown said.

The suspect was arrested without incident following a ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase near Williams Lake.

Tyrell Giroux, 29, remains in custody, and faces charges including dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and resisting or obstructing a peace officer.

The Independent Civilian Review and Complaints for the RCMP confirmed it has received one complaint in regards to the video.

Both the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and B.C. Assembly of First Nations could not be reached for immediate comment.

Since the incident, Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars said his community has been in discussion with Williams Lake RCMP.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First NationsRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo submitted)
MISSING: Alexis Creek RCMP request help in finding Randolph Quilt, 59

Quilt hasn’t been heard from by family since Sept. 26, last seen in Williams Lake

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson (right) with his partner Shelley Wiese participated in an BC Liberals Caucus virtual oath ceremony Friday, Nov. 27. Doerkson was appointed opposition critic of rural development by interim leader Shirley Bond. (Photo submitted)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA appointed rural development opposition critic

Newly-elected Lorne Doerkson said it will be an honour to work for all rural consituents

The exposure occurred on 24th, 25th, & 26th November 2020, and affects Grade 7, 8, 9, 10 (file photo)
COVID-19 case confirmed at Acwsalcta School in Bella Coola

The exposure occurred on 24th, 25th, and 26th Nov. 2020, and affects Grade 7, 8, 9, 10.

Yunesit'in Chief Lennon Solomon signs a memorandum of understanding with COS Insp. Len Butler. The five-year agreement was signed outside the Tsilhqot'in National Government in downtown Williams Lake on Nov. 30. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in Government, Conservation Officer Service team up to address illegal moose hunting

Protection of moose a key focus of recently signed memorandum of understanding

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

The first of two earthquakes near Alaska on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, is shown in blue. (USGS)
No tsunami risk after two earthquakes near Alaska

Both earthquakes hit near the U.S. state on Dec. 1

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Most Read