RCMP can’t explain silence on criminal charges against Fort McMurray Mountie

The Alberta RCMP officer, who is being investigated by provincial police for the violent arrest of a First Nations chief, will be tried in September on three unrelated criminal charges.

Court records reveal that, in August 2019, Const. Simon Seguin has been criminally accused of assault, malice and illegal entry into a home.

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"He attended a residence while on vacation and tried to gain access inside this home," RCMP spokesman Fraser Logan told CBC News. "A fight broke out with two occupants inside before he left the residence."

Logan said that Seguin had a personal relationship with one of the occupants of the house. He said he did not know if this relationship was with the woman who would have been assaulted.

CBC News learned of the criminal charges against Seguin on Tuesday. They had not been made public by the RCMP.

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Logan admitted that this is a departure from typical practice.

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Seguin is being investigated for illegally entering this house in Fort McMurray, Alta. (Peter Evans / CBC)

"This is not normal for us," he said. "This is something that concerns us because, internally, we do not know exactly why these accusations have not been made public. This is something we normally do."

Seguin, 31, was seen in a video from the RCMP control camera addressing Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation chief Allan Adam during a violent arrest in March. The video shows Seguin taking the boss to the ground without warning, punching him in the head and putting him in a choke.

The charges against Adam for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer were fell by the crown at Fort McMurray, Alta., on Wednesday.

Adam was surprised when CBC News told him about the criminal charges against Seguin.

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"I am speechless because I was not aware of that information," said Adam.

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Adam's lawyer Brian Beresh says he wants to know why Seguin remains on active duty on the front lines.

"I am very surprised that this has not been revealed publicly and I am very surprised … that this person has not been suspended," said Beresh.

Logan said that an internal assessment after the August 2019 incident determined that Seguin should not have been removed from office. But he said the status is likely to be reviewed after the criminal trial is completed.

Kelly Sundberg, a criminologist at Mount Royal University in Calgary, described the situation as unacceptable.

"It is worrying and, frankly, it is disturbing," said Sundberg. "What justification could the RCMP have that this officer would keep his service active in light of everything that was exposed to the public? It's unbelievable."

Sundberg thinks that the RCMP needs to take immediate action to correct the situation.

"Just because of the credibility and legitimacy of our criminal justice system and the police, surely someone would think about putting him on administrative leave, even if paid, until all this is over," said Sundberg.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which is investigating Adam's arrest, did not respond when asked if he was aware of the criminal charges that had been filed 10 months ago against Seguin.

Adam, on the left, was surprised to learn of the charges against Seguin. He spoke with CBC News along with his attorney Brian Beresh. (Peter Evans / CBC)

Hearing of the Code of Conduct

CBC News learned that the RCMP code of conduct that was heard in the August 2019 incident was carried out on March 26 this year, 16 days after Seguin attacked Adam.

A source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told CBC News Seguin that she was suspended for one day for the alleged damage and received a letter of reprimand in her file for the alleged assault.

Logan was unable to explain the timing of the hearing or why it was held before Seguin's trial in September.

"Honestly, I don't know," said Logan. "It is a parallel process and it arises when it arises. It is supposed to arise when any concern is brought to light."

Beresh said he was at a loss to understand the timing of the internal hearing.

"I think this case leaves us with more questions than it answers," he said. "I think the RCMP needs to provide all of these responses publicly as soon as possible."

Criminologist Kelly Sundberg of Mount Royal University described the Seguin case as worrying and disturbing. (CBC)

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