Cop Who Violently Arrested Indigenous Leader Had a Pending Assault Charge

Const. Simon Seguin is still serving on Canada's national police force even though he was charged with assault in 2019 after he allegedly attacked a man and a woman.
June 25, 2020, 3:25pm
Chief Allan Adam; RCMP arrest
An officer involved in the violent arrest of Chief Allan Adam was already criminally charged with assault following a previous, unrelated incident. Chief Allan Adam after arrest (supplied) (left) and RCMP dashcam footage (supplied)(right)
Bearing witness to the historic reckoning with systemic racism, and amplifying dialogue to drive change that delivers on the promise of racial equality.

An RCMP officer under investigation for violently arresting a prominent Indigenous leader is already facing previous criminal charges, including one for assault after he allegedly broke into a home and attacked a man and a woman last year.

According to CBC, Const. Simon Seguin had a personal relationship with one of the two occupants of the house, but it’s unclear if it was with the assaulted woman.

Seguin was criminally charged with assault, mischief, and unlawfully entering a home following the August 2019 incident in Alberta. His next court appearance is set for September.

"He did attend a residence while he was off duty and attempted to gain access inside this home," RCMP spokesperson Fraser Logan told CBC News.

It’s unclear why the RCMP, Canada’s national police force, didn’t publicize Seguin’s charges, and Logan said he also doesn’t know why the force didn’t share them; it’s standard practice to make charges against officers known, he said.

Seguin has a letter of reprimand for assault on his file and was given a one-day suspension for mischief, but is currently on duty.

Seguin was one of the RCMP officers caught on camera violently arresting Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam in Fort McMurray, Alberta on March 10 for allegedly having an expired licence plate.

Twelve minutes of dashcam footage shows officers pinning Adam to the ground and assaulting him. CBC reported it was Seguin who tackled and punched the chief before putting him in a headlock.

ASIRT, a civilian-led oversight group in Alberta, is investigating the arrest.

Adam said he was “speechless” when he learned Seguin is facing criminal charges, yet allowed to work on the force.

Brian Beresh, Adam’s lawyer, said he’s “very surprised” Seguin hasn’t been suspended.

On Wednesday, the Crown dropped all charges against Adam, who had been charged with assaulting an officer and resisting arrest following the encounter.

Adam has said repeatedly he believes his arrest was racially motivated.

The RCMP as well as several local Canadian police forces are currently under fire for police brutality and excessive use of force. British Columbia RCMP are being sued after a video surfaced showing officers dragging a handcuffed woman face down on the floor, pulling her hair, and stepping on her head. Last week, RCMP officers in New Brunswick shot and killed Rodney Levi, a 48-year-old Mi’kmaq man from Red Bank First Nation. Edmundston Police killed Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old Indigenous woman, the same week. A Nunavut RCMP officer was caught on camera slamming his car door into a Inuit man earlier this month, and since April, at least five people—all racialized—have been killed by police during wellness checks.

Follow Anya Zoledziowski on Twitter.