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In Darryl Qaqasiq's own words

Jillian Dickens
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Jan 30/06) - Darryl Qaqasiq drinks coffee at the Grind and Brew in Iqaluit in a relaxed manner as he tells of the night RCMP members entered his home without a warrant, choked him unconscious, dragged him from home and denied him his rights.

In the early morning of Feb. 13, the Pangnirtung RCMP phoned Qaqasiq at the home he shares with his parents, his brother and his son.

"They received a rumour that I had made a death threat to my estranged girlfriend who I haven't been together with since 1999. We weren't even talking so I don't know why they ever got that call."

When they asked him if they could come over, he said he told them there was "no need because I haven't done anything wrong."

Constables Richard White and Shawn Devine showed up 15 minutes later.

Qaqasiq answered immediately, thinking it was his cousin, who's birthday was that day.

"I thought he may be drunk," said Qaqasiq, who himself had drank two screwdrivers that night. "When I opened the door, I saw two police officers. They asked to come into the porch. I asked if they had a warrant and they said they did not."

He then swore at them and told them to leave.

This is when White stuck his foot at the door's base, to stop it from closing, he said.

"I was on the way inside the house and Const. White grabbed me by my arm. I jerked free and turned around and at that time I struck him on the chin."

"After I punched Const. White, Devine immediately grabbed me by the throat and pinned me against the wall and basically lifted me up by his hands against the wall. I passed out by the pressure. I came to when I felt the coldness of the floor. When I came to I moved my arm towards White's leg and White said I was under arrest for assaulting a police officer."

This is when Qaqasiq was again choked, this time in a "neck restraint" banned from the RCMP in 1979, according to a report from the RCMP Public Complaints Commission.

"I was on the ground and he had his arm around my neck. They dragged me out of the house with the neck restraint in place."

Qaqasiq did not have a shirt, a jacket or shoes on and the weather was

In the police cruiser, White began reading him his rights, but Devine stopped his partner short.

In the chair's interim report, this was because Devine wanted to drive away from the house because he was afraid Qaqasiq's family might act on Qaqasiq's demands that his family "shoot them."

On the way to the detachment, Qaqasiq told the officers he may have overdosed on prescription medication and was taken to the nursing station. Lying on the cot at the nursing station, Qaqasiq hit White in the face with his handcuffed hands, and White subsequently choked Qaqasiq again and pinned him to the cot.

The RCMP officers said in the report that Qaqasiq remained uncooperative throughout the situation.

Qaqasiq was later held at the RCMP detachment.

Before his show cause hearing, Qaqasiq spent five days at Baffin Correctional Centre. After the hearing, he was put under house arrest in his Pangnirtung home for eight months.

"Because the charges involved the RCMP, that's why I was under such stringent conditions."

On Oct. 13, 2003, he was acquitted on six of the eight charges against him. The other two charges were stayed.

After his court hearing, he found out this was justified.

"They had unlawfully entered my residence. I could have done anything to the officers except kill them."

To feel justified, Qaqasiq wants the constables to be fired, at the very least.

"If it was me, if I had done that to somebody, I would probably be in jail," said Darryl. "And I probably want the people out there to be watchful of the RCMP because I know I don't trust them any more."