If the RCMP is outstanding at anything, it’s their ability to deny all wrongdoing in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The RCMP Hall of Shame is filled with examples of bad cops being protected by RCMP supervisors, usually until video evidence arrives and forces them to abandon their coverups. Robert Dziekanski and Buddy Tavares are two high-profile examples of this.
The latest in this long line of disgraceful conduct is the case of 73-year-old Alan Ruel, who RCMP members left in a drunk tank for over 18 hours without checking on him.
The problem? Alan Ruel wasn’t drunk. He was suffering a stroke.
On July 16, 2015, the RCMP arrested Alan Ruel for being intoxicated in public and tossed him into a jail cell in Airdrie, Alberta.
Alan Ruel launched a $6 million lawsuit against the RCMP in February 2020.
Prior to his arrest, Ruel likely suffered a minor stroke or “disorienting event” as it’s identified in his lawsuit.
Because police mistook him for an extremely intoxicated person, they ignored Ruel for over 18 hours while he suffered a series of strokes in an RCMP holding cell. Doctors say he probably suffered the severest stroke about 4 hours after he was in custody.
As a result of being denied medical attention, the elderly man is now paralyzed on one side of his body.
Anyone who knows anything about strokes knows quick medical attention is critical to minimizing its effects, regardless of severity.
The RCMP’s statement of defence says they had “reasonable and probable grounds” to believe Alan Ruel was drunk and insist his detention was justified.
The facts appear to indicate otherwise.
RCMP surveillance video reportedly shows Ruel’s condition worsening.
The first time the video shows anyone checking on Ruel is over 12 hours after he was locked up. That check lasted all of 8 seconds and the officer never entered the cell.
Five hours after that, an officer entered his cell and to get Ruel into a standing position so he could be released. Ruel couldn’t stand on his own and, at this point, RCMP members finally realized something was terribly wrong.
It was still another hour before paramedics transported Alan Ruel to the hospital.
“It was probably one of the worst days of my life. I was absolutely terrified. I was scared. You’re alone. You’re cold. You don’t know why you’re there. There’s people that are supposed to help you … I actually thought I was going to die at one point, and the thing that scared me is that I was going to die alone,” Ruel said.
He wants the RCMP to acknowledge their many mistakes in his case, including refusing him medical care when he so desperately needed it.
If Ruel’s lawsuit is successful, it will be because the RCMP’s own video surveillance footage proves they failed to do their jobs and provide for his safety while in RCMP custody.
H/T: Don Klein