A video that was released yesterday of an RCMP officer interrogating a 17-year-old Indigenous girl in Kelowna has shaken Canadians nationwide. The video was taken while the RCMP officer questioned the girl about a sexual assault she reported while she was under foster care.
What should have been an interview of the girl's assault quickly turned into a disturbing interrogation of her story. The girl was alone throughout the interrogation, which lasted over two hours. In the video, the RCMP officer can be heard asking the girl, "Were you turned on by this at all? Even a little bit?"
As the video spread across the Internet yesterday, some Canadian politicians responded to the footage, as the APTN reported yesterday.
Warning: The video below contains descriptions of sexual assault, which may be difficult for some people. If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, call the Assaulted Women's Helpline <1.866.863.0511> or find them online here.
The video seen above shows the RCMP officer's inappropriate line of questioning when discussing the girl's assault. Many people also questioned why she was alone during the entire two-hour process, for two reasons.
First of all, the girl seen in the video is a minor and was under the care of the Ministry of Child and Family Development, meaning she should have had a guardian present. Moreover, many other women who reacted to the video and were also victims of sexual assault shared that when they were questioned there was, at the very least a female officer present, if not the one doing the interview.
The video quickly became apparent to Canadian politicians, many of whom reacted very strongly to the RCMP officer's unprofessional behaviour. The APTN reported that several politicians spoke out, including Canada's Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale, who called the video, "absolutely abhorrent."
In the House of Commons, Goodale also said, “The RCMP and all police forces must work continuously to conduct themselves appropriately. No survivor of sexual assault should ever fear that their case will not be taken seriously or that they will be revictimized in the process,” APTN reports.
Goodale also made a point of informing APTN that anyone who feels their sexual assault case was improperly investigated or not investigated properly can request that their case be looked at again via the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission.
An NDP MP, Nathan Cullen, also called for an investigation of the incident and also suggested that the RCMP officer be reprimanded, "at the very, very least." While this is relatively neutral language, compared with the cries for dismissal that could be heard from most Canadian civilians online, it is a call in the right direction, at the very, very least.
Read the full report at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network National News page.