Did police procedures lead to the disappearance of an Inuit woman?
Leaders in Montreal's native community are decrying what they call careless behaviour by the SPVM.
Mina Iquasiak Aculiak, a 48-year-old Inuit woman, disappeared after she was released from police custody at midnight on July 27th, with nothing more than a bus ticket.
Aculiak is from a small village of 500 people in northern Quebec, does not have any knowledge of the Montreal bus and metro system, and cannot speak English or French.
"It is incredibly disturbing," said Nakuset, Executive Director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal. “She's falling through the cracks. And yet, there are the safety nets in Montreal that would have helped her, gladly. But, we weren't thought of.”
“[This type of thing] is more common than I would like,” she added.
Aculiak was released onto Boulevard Thimens, an industrial artery in Saint-Laurent, a little less than nine kilometers from the Gingras-Lindsay Rehabilitation Center where she had been staying while awaiting arm surgery.
Police arrested her outside the hospital, after she returned drunk with beer, according to La Presse. She was released after being held for six hours in custody.
“There are an enormous amount of services here in Montreal that could have helped her if police had just reached out before they dropped her on the side of the street,” Nakuset said. “Why wasn’t the aboriginal liaison officer called by the police for this particular woman.”
She believes that if police had made the extra effort to seek out resources, Aculiak might not have gone missing.