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OPP looking for witnesses of violent arrest in downtown Barrie, Ont.

Click to play video: 'OPP will lead investigation into conduct of Barrie police officer after ‘violent’ arrest' OPP will lead investigation into conduct of Barrie police officer after ‘violent’ arrest
As Catherine McDonald reports, cellphone video taken by a bystander captured the arrest of a young man that has many concerned – Feb 5, 2021

Ontario Provincial Police are looking to speak with witnesses of an arrest that took place in downtown Barrie, Ont., on Feb. 4 in connection with an investigation they’re conducting into a Barrie police officer’s conduct.

After the arrest took place, videos of the incident circulated on social media, showing a Barrie police officer holding a 20-year-old man down on the ground.

Read more: OPP to investigate officer’s conduct following ‘violent’ downtown Barrie, Ont. arrest

In one video, the young man is heard yelling at the officer to get off him, while voices are then heard telling the young man to stop resisting. The video then appeared to show the officer holding an electric stun gun and hitting the man.

At the time of the incident, police wouldn’t confirm the details that led up to the arrest, but witnesses told Global News the young man had been skateboarding and went through a red light. He was charged with causing a disturbance and assault with an attempt to resist arrest.

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The videos prompted public outcry and led to Barrie police Chief Kimberley Greenwood calling on the OPP to independently investigate the incident.

“The images captured in the video are concerning to both the public and myself,” Greenwood said in a statement Feb. 5.

“I acknowledge the public’s concerns being expressed based on the limited availability of information at this time. I want to assure the community that any findings of misconduct will be pursued.”

The Barrie police officer has been reassigned to alternate duties pending the outcome of the OPP’s investigation.

Click to play video: 'Cell phone video shows ‘violent’ arrest of man in Barrie, Ont.' Cell phone video shows ‘violent’ arrest of man in Barrie, Ont.
Cell phone video shows ‘violent’ arrest of man in Barrie, Ont – Feb 5, 2021

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