Vancouver police defend use of beanbag gun in Chinatown arrest

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Vancouver police defend use of beanbag gun
WATCH: Vancouver police are defending their actions, after a video posted on social media shows a man in Chinatown Thursday being subdued by police firing a beanbag gun. – Nov 25, 2022

Vancouver police are defending the use of a “less lethal” beanbag shotgun during an arrest that was captured on camera.

The scene played out in Chinatown on Thursday, with the suspect at one point telling officers to shoot him.

After officers used the beanbag weapon to take the man down, a police dog was used to further subdue him.

Onlookers in the video can be heard yelling that the suspect appeared to be putting his hands onto a vehicle to surrender before he was fired upon.

In a series of tweets responding to the video, Vancouver police said the suspect had commandeered a taxi and threatened to kill the driver before officers forced it to stop.

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The man was a known high-risk and violent offender with a history of armed robberies, assaulting police and drug trafficking and was arrestable on a previous offence, police added.

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Woman in crisis arrested at B.C. Women’s Hospital

“This is a good example of citizen journalism, viral videos and how things can be grossly taken out of context without people knowing all of the facts,” Sgt. Steve Addison told Global News.

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“The force that was taken and the actions that were taken were reasonable, they were taken to lawfully arrest a person who was committing a crime, who has a history of violence, and who had chosen not to comply with the police commands”

The Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), which posted the video, said it was a clear case of police using excessive force.

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“This man who was under arrest had his hands up, he was surrendering himself to police, he was unarmed, and then VPD constables decide to fire three rounds from a so-called less than lethal device,” VANDU organizer Vince Tao said.

“And once he was on the ground, we just released additional footage that we received on our anonymous tip line that they fired again once he was already on the ground, prone, hands up surrendering.”

The suspect has been charged with two counts of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm.

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