Video showing May Day rally arrest has VPD on the defensive

A YouTube video showing a man being arrested at a May Day rally in Vancouver is garnering a lot of attention online and has Vancouver police defending their actions.

The video that was posted today claims a high school student taking pictures at a protest was forced off his bicycle during a May Day march, pinned against the sidewalk and had his arm twisted.

The video description also claims a VPD officer “knee jabbed him twice in the back.”

The man can be heard screaming “stop it” as he is being tackled by two officers who are trying to bring his arms behind his back.

VPD media relations officer Brian Montague told Global News he can’t verify when the video was taken, but it does appear to show VPD officers trying to arrest an individual at yesterday’s protest in Vancouver.

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He says there were several individuals participating in the protest that were masked and physically confrontational.

“We facilitate hundreds of peaceful protests in this city every year. Unfortunately, there are some people who try to hijack demonstrations, they intent on committing criminal acts and they jeopardize public safety,” says Montague. “Public safety is a priority for us when we are policing any public demonstration. That includes the safety of lawful demonstrations. Regrettably there are times when our officers are required to use force during an arrest but what is important to remember is that we never have to use force when a person being arrested in compliant.”

Montague says three people were arrested. He would not say if they are known to police.

All of them have now been released from custody, and no complaints have been filed against any of the officers involved.

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“If a complaint is made, it will be thoroughly investigated,” says Montague.

A similar rally in Seattle saw nine people getting arrested last night.  

Officers said they used pepper spray after some of the Thursday night marchers threw bottles at police in downtown Seattle. Protesters later started trash can fires in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood. One arrest came after a brick was hurled at police.




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