‘Just result,’ says lawyer of Nunavut RCMP officer found not guilty of assault

The lawyer for an RCMP officer acquitted this week in Nunavut on charges of assault calls the court’s decision “a just result,” but says his client never should have been charged in the first place.

The Crown prosecutor, meanwhile, says it wasn’t the outcome he was hoping for but he too believes justice has been served. 

Cpl. Ian Crowe, the former commander of a two-man RCMP detachment in Sanirajak, Nunavut, was accused by a fellow officer of smashing a man’s head into gravel during an arrest in the community in June 2020. Crowe stood trial in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit in February and was found not guilty on Monday. 

In her ruling, Justice Susan Charlesworth said Crowe appeared “earnest” when he testified in his own defence. Meanwhile, she found the testimony from the only witness in the case, Const. Tyson Richard, problematic.

Richard and Crowe both worked at the two-man detachment in Sanirajak in 2020. 

No likelihood of conviction, says lawyer

Calgary-based lawyer Robb Beeman, who represented Crowe, routinely acts as a defence lawyer for RCMP officers accused on the job. 

He believes there was “no reasonable likelihood of conviction.” 

“It was obvious from the beginning that the complainant … had an agenda and that his evidence was not credible in any way,” Beeman said, “which was essentially reflected in the decision of Justice Charlesworth.” 

Beeman said his client has been off work since the allegation came to light two and a half years ago. 

Frosty sign in front of pack ice,
The RCMP sign in Sanirajak, Nunavut, in March 2022. (Jackie McKay/CBC)

“It’s just incredibly disappointing that someone has to go through this sort of hell of being off work and being in limbo for years because of, essentially, the word of a disgruntled employee,” Beeman said. 

He says police are not above

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