Charges dropped against Siksika man who suffered broken bones at hands of RCMP
Christian Duck Chief suffered a broken eye socket, fractured cheek bone and broken nose
By Meghan Grant, CBC News, Nov 30, 2017
All charges have been dropped against a man from the Siksika First Nation southeast of Calgary who suffered broken facial bones during a violent RCMP arrest last year.
Christian Duck Chief, 24, faced charges of assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest, and breach a release condition stemming from an incident on April 1, 2016 where RCMP officers entered his home and broke at least four bones in his head and face during an arrest, and then paraded him naked through their detachment.
Defence lawyer Dale Fedorchuk and his client have both maintained the use of force by officers that night was excessive and that police were in the home without a warrant, “violating his privacy and his dignity.”
Prosecutor Ron Pedersen stayed Duck Chief’s charges in Siksika court Thursday but did not explain why. Though he couldn’t comment on the Crown’s reasoning, Fedorchuk said he had filed a charter notice, arguing his client’s rights were violated during the arrest.
“He is very happy that this matter is now over, he’s happy to put it behind him,” said Fedorchuk.
Woken from a deep sleep
Duck Chief and his wife had been sleeping in their home on the Siksika First Nation when RCMP from the Gleichen detachment entered the home.
Initially Duck Chief says he did resist the officers, he and his wife explained at the time it was because he’d woken from a deep sleep and had no idea it was police in his home.
The couple alleged an RCMP officer hit Duck Chief at least 20 times after he stopped struggling, even as he lay handcuffed on the floor.
According to his wife, Duck Chief was yelling “I’m not resisting” over and over as an officer hit him and elbowed him in the face “more than 20 times.” Elbows to the face continued even when Duck Chief was handcuffed.
Taken from home without clothes
Police then refused to allow Duck Chief to get dressed.
“After arresting him, they took him out of his home naked, put him in the back of a police cruiser naked, and then took him through the detachment nude in the presence of a female civilian personnel at the guard desk,” said Fedorchuk.
That was before police realized Duck Chief was badly injured and needed to be taken to hospital by ambulance.
Ultimately, Duck Chief suffered a broken eye socket, fractured cheek bone, fracture to the back of his head and a broken nose and needed surgery.
Duck Chief to sue RCMP
RCMP declined to comment at the time as to why officers descended on Duck Chief’s home, but the First Nations couple believe they are the victims of racism.
They suspect the arrest occurred because a friend had visited them the night before in a stolen vehicle.
Fedorchuk suspects Duck Chief’s history with police — he was facing assault charges — may be why police entered the home in the first place. But conditions that he not live in the home with his wife had been amended nine months earlier.
Duck Chief plans to sue RCMP. Fedorchuk says he’s preparing a statement of claim which should be filed in the next couple weeks.