Halifax police officer under investigation for ‘unacceptable’ comments in video with man held at gunpoint

Click to play video: 'Halifax police investigating video showing officer making ‘unacceptable’ comments during ‘high-risk’ situation'
Halifax police investigating video showing officer making ‘unacceptable’ comments during ‘high-risk’ situation
Warning: This video contains disturbing content. Discretion advised. Halifax Regional Police confirmed in a statement to media on Saturday that they were investigating after a video began circulating on social media of an incident that purportedly occurred on Friday, showing an officer pointing what appears to be a gun at a man whose hands are up. At one point the officer makes comments that a Halifax Police statement would later call "unacceptable". The police statement regarding the incident said it involved a "high-risk situation involving drugs and weapons offences." – Mar 27, 2021

Halifax Regional Police has launched an internal investigation after the chief of police admitted “comments that appear to have been made by our officer” in a video posted on social media were “unacceptable.”

The officer has been placed on administrative duties until the investigation is complete.

The video was posted by youth and community leader DeRico Symonds. It shows an officer, who Symonds said is white, with his weapon drawn at a man, who is Black. The two are in a parking lot, and the video appears to be recorded from an apartment balcony.

The man has both hands in the air, and walks around a parked truck, while the officer follows. In the audio, the officer can be heard yelling a threat and using foul language at the man, who then runs away.

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In a statement, HRP Chief Dan Kinsella says the incident took place on March 26, and involved a “high-risk situation involving drugs and weapons offences.”

The department later confirmed the interaction took place in the 200-block of Wentworth Drive in Halifax. According to a news release issued that day, officers responded at around 6 p.m. to investigate a “weapons call.”

The release states patrol officers took three men into custody initially, while a fourth man “fled on foot.”

“A Police Service Dog attempted to track the forth male but was not been able to locate the male. There is no description to provide of the male that fled on foot at this time. Officers have seized a vehicle for a search warrant.,” the release states.
During the same call, a 30-year-old man was found in possession of narcotics and a firearm inside a vehicle.
“One of the three males arrested did sustain minor injuries prior to police arrival, but declined medical treatment,” the release adds.
The video led many on Twitter to express outrage over the officer’s conduct.

In his statement, released Saturday night, Kinsella says he understands the response.

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“We recognize that any such incident can be deeply damaging to police community relations,” he said.

“We are committed to a full investigation and ask members of the public to allow for due process to take place.”

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