Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is condemning police brutality following an alleged violent melee between Gatineau police officers and a Senegalese diplomat.
Last week, the Senegalese government accused Gatineau, Que., police of committing “an act of physical and mental violence that humiliated the diplomat” by handcuffing and beating her in a melee, which ended by having the diplomat hospitalized.
The Gatineau Police Department said that one person punched an officer and bit another officer in the August 2 incident.
On Monday, Freeland was asked about the incident as unacceptable and whether Canada would apologize to Senegal. The Senegalese government has called on Ottawa to “strongly denounce and strongly condemn this barbaric and racist act.”
“Any case of brutality, of police brutality, against anyone in our country, whether they’re Canadians or tourists or diplomats, is absolutely stunning,” Freeland said. unacceptable.
“That’s what our government has been clear on. And I want to assure all Canadians and all the diplomats here that we’re very, very clear on that.”
VIEW | Deputy Prime Minister comments on the police’s allegation of beating a Senegalese diplomat
Freeland was the first Canadian federal minister to address the case.
Global Affairs Canada released a statement over the weekend saying it was “deeply concerned” by the police treatment of the diplomat, calling the incident “unacceptable.” Quebec’s Ministry of Public Security said the police complaint against the diplomat had been dropped “due to the imposition of diplomatic immunity.”
CBC News has reached out to Global Affairs Canada to inquire about a possible apology to Senegal. The ministry pointed to a tweet Tuesday afternoon showing Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly speaking with her Senegalese counterpart, Senegalese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Aïssata Tall Sall, earlier in the day.
I spoke with my Senegalese counterpart, @aissataofficiel to reiterate that Canada looks forward to a full investigation into the alleged conduct of a Senegalese diplomat in 🇨🇦 and above all to our commitment to continued cooperation between our two countries. pic.twitter.com/RyMvzsyPgx
“Canada expects a full investigation,” the tweet read.
The Quebec police watchdog is currently investigating the officers’ conduct, beginning by requesting copies of reports made after the incident.
The Gatineau Police Department said it would not make any further comment while the watchdog investigation was opened.
On Monday, the minister in charge of the Outaouais region of Quebec, Mathieu Lacombe, said he hoped “there will be light on this issue”. [incident]”after the investigation.