Members of Winnipeg's Somali community are looking for answers after two young men were pulled from a car at gunpoint in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

Police briefly detained Mustafe Nur and a passenger in his car after a traffic stop at Kennedy Street and Cumberland Avenue just before 2:41 a.m. CT Sunday.

In a video of the incident captured by a freelance videographer, the officers first ordered Nur from the vehicle at gunpoint, followed soon after by the male passenger.

The video depicts the officer dealing with Nur becoming agitated when he does not immediately comply with spoken commands.

"Step out slowly," the unidentified officer says. "Step out slowly – good job," he repeats as Nur gets out of the vehicle. However, the officer's commands become more urgent when Nur doesn't appear to understand what he was being asked.

About two minutes into the traffic stop, Nur is handcuffed on the ground. The passenger is also soon taken into custody.

Nur said in an interview Tuesday that police dragged him on the concrete and hit him in the head with the butt of a gun, leaving him with a cut and swelling behind his ear.

He said he was scared and shocked, and didn't understand what the officer was asking him to do.

"I need a place to live where there is peace — no gun, no shooting, anything like that," Nur said.

'High-risk' stop

Police said the two men matched the description of two armed robbery suspects and moved in to arrest them in what's called a "high-risk" traffic stop.


A Winnipeg police officer checks the interior of the stopped vehicle with the passenger still inside. ((Shaun McLeod/CBC))

That means the possibility of violence or the presence of weapons in the vehicle are placed at the top of an officer's mind when approaching the vehicle and they typically do so with guns drawn.

Police said a report was written on the incident and there was no indication of wrongdoing.

The arresting officers at the scene apologized to the two men, police said. They were released without charge after about 45 minutes.

The president of the Manitoba Somali Association said the apology isn't good enough.

"We haven't seen anything written, we haven't seen anything person to person as a community," Mustafa Ibrahim said.

"In the past we've had good relations with the police, so I hope they contact us and take it from there," he said.

Ibrahim said he wants to know more about the situation in hopes of preventing a similar situation in the future.