A cell phone video that led to the acquittal of two brothers accused of assaulting a Vancouver police officer in 2018 has been released publicly by the courts.
The video appears to show a police officer throwing the first punch.
B.C. Provincial Court Judge Reg Harris dismissed charges against Brendan and Troy Robinson on Monday, after the new video emerged.
The pair had been charged over an altercation with police during a traffic stop on a restricted section of Granville Street on Oct. 9, 2018.
Police at the time had alleged the brothers, and a third person in their SUV, had been verbally abusive and refused to follow orders. They also alleged that when an officer opened the passenger door, the man in the front seat pulled him into the vehicle and two of the vehicle occupants punched the officer repeatedly in the head and face.
Someone on the street captured video of the incident, and police at the time said officers had been defending themselves.
But a second video, shot by Troy Robinson, who’d been sitting in the back seat, later emerged and led the judge to rule that Brendan Robinson had been the one to defend himself.
Global News obtained the video Friday after making an application in court.
In the latest video, Brendan Robinson can be seen arguing with an officer and blowing smoke through the passenger-side window of the vehicle.
After several minutes, Brendan starts to roll the window up and the officer opens the SUV’s passenger door, hitting a light post.
“You smashed the f—ing side,” Brendan tells the officer, appearing to gesticulate outside of the vehicle.
At that point, the video appears to show the officer grabbing Brendan’s hands, as someone yells, “Don’t reach!”
The officer then appears to lean inside the vehicle and grapple with Brendan, who is still belted into his seat, and throws at least one punch.
Someone in the vehicle is heard yelling, “Don’t grab him! He’s not fighting! He’s not fighting!”
The video cuts off after several more seconds of the altercation.
Based on the contents of the footage, the judge ruled this week that the officer had initiated the fight, and had not, in fact, been pulled into the vehicle.
He ruled that Brendan Robinson was rude and antagonistic, but had committed no criminal offence.
Brendan shouldn’t have been arrested and that the testimony of the two police officers involved was unreliable, the ruling further stated.
At the request of the VPD, the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is now looking into whether to launch an investigation under the Police Act to determine if police gave misleading testimony.
With files from Ruina Daya