In January 1995, Canada’s elite Airborne Regiment was shut down by the country’s Defence Minister. A shocking homemade video had been released by the media showing some officers make disturbing and racist comments while on a peacekeeping mission in Somalia. Shortly after that video was released, a second video was uncovered that showed officers from the Airborne Regiment taking part in a hazing ritual. During the ceremony, a black soldier was put on a leash and walked around like a dog while other soldiers were forced to eat feces.
The regiment had already developed a bad reputation and was under a dark cloud because of two deaths that occurred inside the Canadian compound in Somalia. In one case a 16 year old Somalia boy was tortured and beaten to death. The main officer who conducted the beating posed for pictures with the boys battered body.
Clayton Matchee was arrested in connection with the death but attempted to commit suicide while in protective custody. He did not die but experienced severed brain damage and was declared unfit to stand trial.
Kyle Brown, was present during the beating and tried to stop Matchee who outranked him. He took pictures during the beating and eventually turned them over to authorities. Brown was convicted of charges and received a 5 year jail sentence.
Thanks to Scott Taylor, the editor / publisher of Esprit De Corps Canadian Military Magazine, who was a contributor to this episode. He was instrumental in uncovering top level corruption in the Canadian military in the 1990’s.