Video evidence helps acquit N.W.T. Indigenous man of assaulting RCMP while in custody

CBC has obtained a video of a violent incident at the Fort McPherson RCMP detachment that cleared a man of charges of assaulting a peace officer and resisting arrest.

The video shows a man from Fort McPherson, N.W.T., being repeatedly punched and elbowed in the face, head and neck by a male RCMP officer as a female officer holds his legs down. The incident happened in a cell at the Fort McPherson detachment in the early morning hours of Oct. 25, 2019.

Citing "substantial discrepancies" between the account Const. Scott Thomas gave of the incident in court and what the video shows, a judge acquitted Travis Jerome after a trial held in Inuvik in February.

In a written decision issued March 23, Chief N.W.T. Territorial Court Judge Robert Gorin said it appeared in the video Jerome was reacting to pain being inflicted on him by Thomas.

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