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Use of force probed after B.C. Mountie filmed kicking suspect in ‘dangerous’ high-speed chase

Click to play video: 'Investigation launched into Williams Lake arrest'
Investigation launched into Williams Lake arrest
Investigation launched into Williams Lake arrest Video of the incident, circulating on social media, appears to show an officer kicking the suspect. But as Catherine Urquhart reports, RCMP say this footage does not paint the whole picture. – Oct 26, 2020

The BC RCMP has launched a code of conduct investigation, after an officer was filmed kicking a suspect during an arrest near Williams Lake.

The video, which was shot Sunday morning by a civilian witness, was posted to Facebook.

In the video, a man can be seen fleeing a white pickup truck stopped on the wrong side of the highway as several police vehicles pull up at high speed.

Click to play video: 'Arrest in Williams Lake captured on camera'
Arrest in Williams Lake captured on camera

The man appears to sit on the ground at the bottom of an embankment, at which point one officer approaches and begins to grapple with him.

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While the man is on the ground, a second officer then runs up to him, kicks him, and delivers several punches.

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In a statement, North District Commander Chief Superintendent Warren Brown said the RCMP launched a review of the arrest “immediately” upon learning about it.

“Which includes speaking with the officers involved and witnesses, reviewing the in police car video, police radio transmissions, as well as the civilian video,” he said.

“Following a preliminary review we can say that the civilian video, while it captures part of the arrest, does not provide the full-scope of the arrest and provides no context with respect to what precipitated the arrest.”

Brown said the video captures only the “culmination of a high-risk, multi-jurisdictional incident” that put both police and civilian lives at risk.

Click to play video: 'Kelowna cop on desk duty after allegedly dragging nursing student down hallway during wellness check'
Kelowna cop on desk duty after allegedly dragging nursing student down hallway during wellness check

Wild chase

According to the RCMP, the incident began around 9 a.m. near Kamloops, when someone reported an erratic driver who was weaving in traffic and crossing double-solid lines on Highway 1.

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RCMP said a check on the truck showed that during a prior stop, RCMP had found the driver in possession of a loaded handgun.

Mounties put out an alert on the driver, who they allege then fled RCMP in Clinton and in 100 Mile House, overtaking vehicles on the wrong side of the road and nearly striking a police officer.

Police in 150 Mile House were able to disable two of the pickup’s tires with a spike belt, but the driver kept going on bare rims until it was immobilized with a second spike belt on Highway 97 near Williams Lake, according to police.

The driver then fled the vehicle and, after appearing to surrender, allegedly refused to show his hands and “a struggle ensued,” said Brown.

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“A second responding officer, who was aware the man could be armed and was not complying with the initial officer’s commands, utilized several strikes including one with his foot to rapidly gain control of the suspect and resolve the situation.”

The man was not found to be carrying a gun, Brown said.

But the man is facing numerous charges including fleeing police, possessing stolen property and dangerous driving in what Brown described as a “reckless and dangerous” incident.

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Williams Lake RCMP is heading up the investigation into the driver’s actions, while Brown said “discussions are continuing” with relation what role an outside agency may be involved in probing the officers’ use of force.

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