Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation listens as Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks during a press conference in Fort McMurray, Alta. on Friday May 30, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Charges dropped against Alberta First Nations chief in violent arrest

The move comes after the RCMP dash-cam footage of Chief Allan Adam’s arrest was made public

A northern Alberta First Nation says charges have been dropped against its chief, who was the subject of a violent arrest earlier this year.

The case of Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation was in front of a Fort McMurray provincial court judge Wednesday and court records showed charges of resisting arrest and assaulting a peace officer were to be withdrawn by the Crown.

The First Nation confirmed that is what happened in the hearing Wednesday morning. The Crown’s office did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

The move comes after the RCMP dash-cam footage of Adam’s arrest was made public earlier this month as part of a court application to stay the charges.

The 12-minute video from early on March 10 shows a black truck idling outside the Boomtown Casino in downtown Fort McMurray in the glow of flashing police lights.

Adam can be seen walking back and forth between the truck and a RCMP cruiser, shouting profanities at an officer out of view. The chief tells the officer to tell his sergeant: “I’m tired of being harassed by the RCMP.’”

“Sir, just return to your vehicle. I’ll come talk to you in a minute,’” the Mountie replies.

A few minutes later, after some arguing, Adam gets out of the truck’s passenger seat and takes off his jacket as he strides toward the officer. A woman in the driver’s seat gets out and Adam crouches as though bracing for a fight.

There is more arguing and Adam gets back into the passenger seat. The officer is seen pushing the woman against the truck and yanking her by the shoulder as she shouts, “‘Ow!”

“‘Hey! Leave my wife alone! You come for me,’” Adam says, before swatting the officer’s hands away from the woman.

About seven minutes into the video, a second officer runs at Adam, grabs him by the neck and shoulders, tackles him to the ground and punches him in the head.

The RCMP have said Adam’s truck had expired plates. They initially stated that the officers’ actions were reasonable.

Politicians have demanded answers after the video was released.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, the province’s police watchdog, is investigating the arrest.

The Canadian Press

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