APTN National News
Ottawa police sergeant Chris Hrnchiar pleaded guilty to two counts of discreditable conduct in court Tuesday and apologized for his actions.
The charges followed an investigation by the professional standards section of the Ottawa police service that found Hrnchiar wrote racist and disparaging comments about Indigenous people after the death of Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook.
Pootoogook’s body was found in the Rideau river outside downtown Ottawa Sept. 19.
See related stories here: Annie Pootoogook
The comments were posted by Hrnchiar through Facebook in response to an Ottawa Citizen story about her death.
Hrnchiar posted that Pootoogook’s death “could be a suicide, accidental, she got drunk and fell in the river and drowned, who knows.” He also wrote that” much of the Aboriginal population in Canada is just satisfied being alcohol or drug abusers.”
In court Hrnchiar faced the public gallery and apologized.
“I want to apologize to everyone sincerely for my actions,” he said, including the ‘Aboriginal’ community. “I am sorry for the hurt I caused.”
The Ottawa police service called the comments “inappropriate” and “racist.”
The force is seeking a demotion in rank, from Sgt to First Class Constable for a period of three months and multicultural training.
The judgment is held over and a decision will be released in a written statement on Dec. 7.