Torching of RCMP SUV in Innu community draws local online praise
by Jorge Barrera, APTN National News, May 31, 2017
A 29 year-old man was arrested in the Labrador Innu First Nation of Natuashish following the torching of an RCMP vehicle Tuesday evening that was praised on social media.
Newfoundland and Labrador RCMP did not immediately release the arrested man’s name. RCMP Cpl. Trevor O’Keefe said the man was in custody, but had not been officially charged.
“I am pretty sure this is an isolated incident. We haven’t been made aware of any tensions between the local detachment and the community,” said O’Keefe.
A photo of the burning RCMP vehicle began to circulate on Facebook shortly after it was set on fire at about 8 p.m. local time Tuesday.
One individual, from the community, who posted the photograph on their Facebook page wrote, “hahah pig.”
Several local people who commented on the photo praised the vehicle’s torching and criticized the local RCMP detachment.
“Cops here are useless, they don’t show up right away when they called [sic], they don’t care…They show up within an hour or two,” said a woman poster.
“That’s funny lol,” said another poster.
“One down, two more to go,” posted another.
Not everyone praised the attack on the SUV.
“This is soo [sic] not funny. What if someone required service from the RCMP and needed the vehicle to help?” said one poster. “What if someone’s life was in danger and the police couldn’t get there fast enough because some childish stupid person done this [sic]? What if that person in danger was your grandparent?”
Most of the people who commented on the story appeared to be from the region or connected to it.
O’Keefe said the burned SUV would have no impact on the detachment’s operations. He said it was already decommissioned and headed for auction.
“It wasn’t being used for day-to-day operations,” said O’Keefe.
O’Keefe said the detachment, staffed by six officers, currently has use of two RCMP vehicles.
Natuashish’s Mushua Innu First Nation Chief John Nui turned down a request for comment from APTN.
However, Nui posted a message to his community on Facebook Wednesday morning in response to the SUV’s torching.
“We don’t need to remind our members that setting a fire is very dangerous and could and have destroyed homes,” wrote Nui. “I think it’s your duty as community members to intervene when you see something like this happens.”
He also called on his community to pull together.
“The band council and our front line workers are doing what they can, but we need help, more help from the community,” posted Nui. “These past couple of weeks have been very stressful for everyone that is involved.”
Natuashish sits about 300 km north of Happy Valley Goose Bay, Labrador.
Posted on May 31, 2017, in State Security Forces and tagged arson attack, cop car burned, Innu, Labrador Innu First Nation of Natuashish, RCMP, Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.