(BBC) – Video of an indigenous chief’s violent arrest has shocked Canada, turning a spotlight on systemic racism in the country’s police force.
The footage shows Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam being floored and repeatedly punched by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer.
The confrontation took place in Fort McMurray, Alberta, on 10 March.
Protests demanding police reform have spread across Canada recently after spilling over from the US.
Although RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki initially said she “can’t say for sure” whether systemic racism is a problem with the police, on Friday afternoon she released a statement saying “systemic racism is part of every institution, the RCMP included”.
“Throughout our history and today, we have not always treated racialised and Indigenous people fairly,” she wrote.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for an independent investigation.