New Video Shows Controversial Yellowknife Reporter Being Tackled By Courthouse Sheriff

The sheriff involved in the incident will not face disciplinary action, though.
November 28, 2016, 5:11pm

A new video has surfaced showing John McFadden, a Yellowknife reporter with a long history of beefing with local authorities, being tackled and roughed up by courthouse sheriffs.

The footage shows him being grabbed by his collar and pushed through the courthouse. He is seen hitting his head on two large glass doors while two more officers pin him on the floor. The courthouse sheriff who initially grabbed McFadden was under investigation by the Northwest Territories Justice Department and was found to have committed no wrongdoing in relation to the 2013 incident, the CBC reports. McFadden claims the sheriff used excessive force when removing him from the premises, resulting in a wound on his head and damage to his pants and shirt, for which he was compensated $120. An expert witness specializing in the use of force testified that the footage presented was difficult to assess given that there is no context for the action. The expert claimed that knowledge of the exchange between the sheriff and McFadden just prior to grabbing McFadden would have helped to determine if a use of force had occurred. Read More: Exiled to the North, a Reporter Finds a New Enemy in the RCMP The video was only recently made available to McFadden, who had previously been unaware of its existence. He had to file an access to information request in order to obtain a copy of it. After reviewing a video of the incident, the Justice Department ruled last week that the courthouse sheriff would face no disciplinary action, and that it "was satisfied that the matter was handled appropriately," according to deputy minister Martin Goldney. It's unclear what provoked the incident. McFadden, who was reporting on the bail hearing for a teenaged girl who had stabbed a man to death, claims that during a brief conversation outside of the courthouse washroom he had asked the sheriff for the name of his supervisor before being grabbed by the collar and shoved towards the exit. This is not the first time McFadden has had a run in with local authorities. VICE reported earlier this year that he has sparred with the RCMP on several occasions since moving to Yellowknife from Toronto in 2013. He's been banned from news conferences and has criticized the RCMP after they reportedly did not make the public aware of when sexual predators were being released from prison. In July 2015, McFadden found himself cuffed in the backseat of a police cruiser after allegedly photographing a van that police were investigating. He was later charged with obstruction of justice and [found not guilty last month. ]( told reporters last Thursday that he is unsatisfied with the $120 he received after the incident at the courthouse, and that he has not ruled out suing the Justice Department for damages. Follow Lisa Power on Twitter.