"The events that have been brought to light over the past days highlight, without question, there is systemic discrimination within our institutions, including the RCMP."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday demanded answers, after he viewed a newly released dashcam video that shows Royal Canadian Mounted Police arresting a prominent indigenous leader.
In the video from March 10, Chief Allan Adam of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation accuses an officer of harassing him.
About 7 minutes into the video, an officer tackles Adam to the ground.
An officer then punches Adam in the face.
Adam alleges police beat him up during the incident involving an expired license plate in Fort McMurry, Alberta.
He released a photo of his swollen and bloodied face.
Then - this video emerged after it was filed as a court exhibit.
“I think everyone who has seen this video has serious questions about what exactly happened, about how it happened this way and about that use of force that we saw. That’s why we’re calling for an independent, transparent investigation that will get the answers that so many people are asking right now.”
The RCMP said officers used reasonable force after Adam resisted arrest.
An independent agency has begun an investigation.
Adam has been charged with resisting arrest and assaulting police. He is due in court on July 2.
People of indigenous descent account for just under 5 percent of Canada’s population. Many live in communities hit by crime, ill-health and poverty. Complaints about police discrimination are widespread.