YouTube arrest video could incriminate suspects
Footage fails to show assault on peace officer, says Calgary Transit
Calgary Transit is standing by the actions of its peace officers in an arrest captured in a video and posted on YouTube.
The edited footage, which runs four minutes and 18 seconds, was posted on the popular video sharing site Tuesday.
It opens with a young man identified as Cody (The Catch) Tkach, a Calgary rapper, who is smoking. He tells the camera he is drunk.
A voice is heard in the background saying, "Cody's going to get arrested before he even gets back in the ... bar."
Transit officers then approach and tell Tkach and his friends that smoking is not allowed on the downtown C-Train platform.
The video cuts to a shot of an officer with his arm pinned against Tkach's neck. The next shaky image shows another officer pepper-spraying and swinging his baton at a second man.
Another scene shows a man taunting one of the officers, who gives chase and tackles him. The officer then appears to knee the suspect in the back twice.
The video does not show what happened leading up to the altercations, which was also captured by Calgary Transit's security cameras.
"There are key missing parts, in particular where one of the officers is assaulted by one of the individuals at the scene," Brian Whitelaw, Calgary Transit's co-ordinator of public safety and enforcement, told CBC News on Thursday.
"What you don't see is the actions of two individuals who have assaulted the officer that you later see on the video with the baton and the pepper spray."
After reviewing all its footage, Whitelaw said the officers acted appropriately and in compliance with law, procedures and policies in dealing with the group of seven people.
"The use of force in this case is appropriate," said Whitelaw, adding that Calgary Transit has not received a complaint about the incident.
Doug King, an associate professor of justice at Mount Royal University, said the footage can be used against the suspects in court.
"It's always entertaining to see people who are so stupid that they put their idiocy on camera and then open themselves up to criminal charges," said King. "The peace officers' actions were appropriate, were measured, were well within the realm of what one can expect."
Two men have been charged with one count each of assaulting a peace officer, resisting arrest and obstructing justice under the Criminal Code.
One of them was also charged with the bylaw offences of smoking on the platform and having his feet up on the seat.