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Chief Adam encouraged by federal push for body cameras

Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation listens during a press conference in Fort McMurray, Alta. on May 30, 2014. Lawyers are expected to pack a Regina courtroom today to argue the constitutionality of a federally imposed carbon tax. A panel of five judges is to listen to arguments from both the Saskatchewan and federal governments as well as from 16 interveners on both sides of the dispute. Saskatchewan opposes the federal government's plan to force a carbon tax on the province and plans to argue it is unconstitutional because it's not applied evenly in all jurisdictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government would push for a policy for universal body camera usage by police.

Trudeau said Ottawa would consult with the provinces and Commissioner of the RCMP on drafting the legislation.

READ MORE: PM promises to push police body-cameras with premiers

Attorney Brian Beresh represents Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

Beresh appealed for the measure on June 6 during a press conference where they alleged police brutality by RCMP.

READ MORE: ACFN Chief Allan Adam alleges assault by RCMP officers

Chief Adam alleged Wood Buffalo RCMP assaulted him and his wife in downtown Fort McMurray in March 2020 over expired license tags.

“If a bystander did not use their phone and take video of my assault by the RCMP, my case would be seen by the public in a very different light. It would be my word against the RCMP.”

He said while cameras don’t solve systemic racism or over-policing of Indigenous communities, it represents a step forward.

Chief Adam maintained a policy of body cameras will save lives and promote justice.

“Universal use of body cameras, when coupled with strong policies around usage and retention of footage, would be a concrete measure to increase accountability for both officers and the public.”

He and Beresh called on the RCMP to release their footage of Chief Allan Adam’s arrest to the public.