Edmonton police takedown raises questions about actions of officers

Click to play video: 'Dramatic Edmonton police takedown shines spotlight on action of officers' Dramatic Edmonton police takedown shines spotlight on action of officers
WATCH ABOVE: A dramatic police takedown in Edmonton is putting the spotlight on the actions of the officers involved. WARNING: some viewers may find this video disturbing – Jun 17, 2019

The incident unfolded on the evening of June 11 in the back parking lot of an apartment building near the Alberta legislature on 98 Avenue and 106 Street.

“Pretty scary to watch,” said Michelle Scully, a resident of the building who, along with several others, recorded video of the takedown.

The video appears to show officers boxing in a white truck in the building’s parking lot. The truck is then seen accelerating forward, hitting a police vehicle.

The commotion began before police arrived, according to Scully.

“I saw him (the suspect) back up, crash into a pole, go forward, back into a pole again,” she said.

The tension ratcheted up as police went in for the arrest.

“Hands up! Out of your vehicle,” an officer is heard yelling.

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“Get your f–king hands up,” another is heard yelling out seconds later.

“The language was quite harsh,” Scully said. “At the same time, I’ve never been a police officer.

“I have never had a stranger ramming into my vehicle.”

Watch below: A tense police takedown near the Alberta legislature, which was caught on video, is putting the spotlight on the actions of the officers involved. Vinesh Pratap explains. WARNING: disturbing content.

Click to play video: 'Police takedown in central Edmonton raises questions' Police takedown in central Edmonton raises questions
Police takedown in central Edmonton raises questions – Jun 17, 2019

Another video from a slightly different angle shows six officers moving in.

With the suspect surrounded, things seem to calm down over the course of about 60 seconds.

Then an officer is seen kicking at someone on the ground.

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“Get up! Do it,” an officer is heard loudly ordering the suspect following the kicks.

The video then shows the suspect being lifted up by officers, one of whom pushes the man head first into the concrete wall of the building.

In the aftermath of videos making the social media rounds, questions have been raised about police actions.

“I would imagine, if I were a police officer, I would get some sort of training to keep things calm and I felt it kind of escalated it a little bit,” Scully said.

The person who took the video from the different angle believes police didn’t cross the line; that excessive force wasn’t used.

An EPS spokesperson describes the file as a stolen vehicle investigation. On Tuesday, police offered additional information about the investigation, saying at 9:45 p.m. on June 11, officers saw a stolen Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck near 109 Street and 105 Avenue.

“Air 1 continued to monitor the vehicle after it entered into a criminal flight,” EPS spokesperson Cheryl Sheppard said in an email. “The suspect vehicle entered a parking lot at 106 Street and 99 Avenue, where it was observed striking civilian and police vehicles, while police members attempted to initiate direct vehicle contact.

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“The truck was eventually successfully immobilized by police vehicles.

“A Taser was deployed while members effected an arrest of the male driver,” EPS said.

Police said Tuesday Kyle Parkhurst, 26, had been charged with flight from a peace officer, dangerous operation of a vehicle, assault of a peace officer with a weapon, possession of stolen property over $5,000, operation while prohibited, obstructing a peace officer and three counts of breaching recognizance.

Parkhurst has been remanded into custody until July 5.

In a statement, police indicate the Professional Standards Branch is reviewing the incident, the arrest and video. It’s unclear how long that review will take.

The director of law enforcement was also notified.

On June 20, Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee said one officer involved has been taken off patrol duties for now.

“We’re not going to lay any fault or any blame at this point. We’re going to investigate the whole thing, we do always, it’s thorough,” McFee said.

“We went through the necessary steps… informed the province. And with ours, we’re going to look into it. At the end of the day, is it concerning for us? You bet it is. But I think we need to get the fulsome picture, we need to actually look at all the facts and then make some decisions from there.”

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No other EPS members have been taken off active duty as a result of this incident, McFee said.

— With files from Emily Mertz, Global News

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