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RCMP deny wrongdoing in Jaeb arrest
City yet to file documents defending itself against lawsuit

Shane Magee
Northern News Services
Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Government of Canada is defending the actions of RCMP officers involved in the arrest and detention of Gary Jaeb last year.

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Jaeb was arrested Sept. 20 by bylaw enforcement officers after being pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt, which culminated into a violent altercation.

Jaeb was arrested Sept. 20 by bylaw enforcement officers after being pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt, which culminated into a violent altercation. He called the arrest illegal and admitted to fighting back. Charges of assaulting a peace officer and obstructing justice were stayed by the court in late November.

In June, Jaeb filed a lawsuit in NWT Supreme Court alleging he was assaulted by bylaw constables Michael Garbowicz and Adam Mahaffy, illegally arrested, his charter rights were violated and he was humiliated by the city employees and RCMP officers who also responded.

"Canada maintains that the actions of the municipal defendants were lawful," reads a statement of defence filed by the Canadian government last month.

RCMP spokeswoman Const. Elenore Sturko previously declined to comment on the allegations. The city has yet to file a statement of defence. Spokesman Richard McIntosh declined Friday to comment on the case, saying the case file was still with the city's insurance company.

The court document filed on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada on July 10 denies the allegations leveled at RCMP officers who responded, calling the investigation into Jaeb's actions that day and the subsequent investigation "independent and impartial."

The attorney general responded because under federal legislation, that minister is liable for RCMP actions.

"In summary, the RCMP officers conducted an independent and impartial investigation. They made observations at the scene, interviewed both (Gary Jaeb and his wife), as well as Michael Garbowicz, and obtained and reviewed a copy of the video from the (municipal enforcement division) vehicle which provided a basis for the RCMP to believe there were reasonable and probable grounds to charge Mr. Jaeb," it stated.

Jaeb had claimed that while at the RCMP detachment he had been stripped down to his underwear and walked around public areas of the station. However, the statement says it's standard procedure for someone being held in RCMP cells to be left with only one layer of clothing. Because he was wearing pants and long underwear, he was asked which layer he wanted to keep on. He chose the underwear, according to the document.

"At no time while he was wearing his long underwear was Mr. Jaeb in a public area of the detachment," the document states.

It also states that contrary to Jaeb's allegations, RCMP officers responding to the scene did not laugh at him. None of the allegations have been proven in court. No court date has been set for the case and Jaeb has not specified a monetary amount he is seeking from the city, the two bylaw officers and federal government.

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