The head of the country’s most influential First Nations organization is calling for the Alberta RCMP to suspend the officer who tackled Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam during a violent arrest in March.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde said in a statement Thursday that the RCMP should suspend Const. Simon Seguin until the province’s police watchdog, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, concludes its investigation into Adam’s March 10 arrest.
“I’ve consistently said there must be a zero-tolerance policy for excessive use of force by police, which is under investigation at this time,” Bellegarde said in the statement.
“The news that Constable Simon Seguin is still on active duty is unacceptable. The RCMP should suspend the officer…. First Nations see the assault on Chief Allan Adam as unprovoked and unforgivable. To re-establish trust, the RCMP must address incidents of brutality head on.”
Seguin currently remains on duty. The officer is also facing a Sept. 30 trial on charges of assault, mischief and unlawfully being in a dwelling house stemming from an incident on Aug. 5, 2019.
An RCMP code of conduct hearing into that incident was held on March 26, 16 days after Seguin tackled Adam. Seguin was given a one-day suspension for the mischief allegation and received a letter of reprimand in his file for the assault allegation.
Seguin, 31, was seen on an RCMP dashcam video tackling Adam during the violent arrest in March. The video shows the officer taking the chief to the ground without warning, punching him in the head and putting him in a chokehold.
On Wednesday, the Crown dropped charges against Adam of resisting arrest and assaulting a peace officer.
Alberta RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.