Canada opens probe into police handling of Senegal diplomat

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A response issued late Friday by the police department of Gatineau, an Ottawa suburb, described a different scene, saying the woman had violently attacked two police officers…reports Asian Lite News

Canada will open an investigation into police conduct after Senegal lodged a formal complaint that one of its diplomats in Ottawa was handcuffed and “savagely beaten” in a recent incident, media reported.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Senegal summoned the Canadian embassy’s charge d’affaires this week, accusing Canadian police of having “raided” the diplomat’s home and exercised “humiliating physical and moral violence, in front of witnesses”, AFP reported.

It said it had summoned the Canadian representative to “vigorously denounce and strongly condemn the racist and barbaric act.”

The identity of the diplomat has not been disclosed, it reported.

The AFP reported that, the government of Quebec, the province where the incident occurred, on late Saturday announced the Bureau of Independent Investigations (BEI) was opening a probe following a federal report that the “First Counselor of the Embassy of Senegal in Canada” was the subject of “a police intervention that raises questions.”

A response issued late Friday by the police department of Gatineau, an Ottawa suburb, described a different scene, saying the woman had violently attacked two police officers.

The police said they had been called on Tuesday when a bailiff encountered problems while executing a court order — which was not described.

They said police determined the court order was valid and that the official who issued it had been told of the person’s diplomatic status. The bailiff then proceeded to carry out his order, they said.

But they said the person became “aggressive,” refused to cooperate and struck one officer in the face. The police said that when they moved to arrest her, the woman resisted and bit a second officer.

Following this incident, she was handcuffed and then placed in the back of a patrol car — “for the safety of those present” — while the bailiff carried out his order and matters calmed down, it was reported.

Police said that the woman did not complain of any pain or injury, though later in the day police were called back by paramedics seeking “assistance when they were working with this person.”

The Gatineau police statement said provincial prosecutors had been asked to review whether officers should face a criminal investigation.

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