British Columbia

New video of Kelowna RCMP arrest shows officer punching suspect at least 10 times

A second video of a violent arrest in Kelowna, B.C., shows an RCMP officer who appears to punch a suspect at least 10 times while the man is being restrained by two other officers.

60-second video shows RCMP officer deliver two rounds of strikes before suspect taken to the ground

An RCMP officer is seen running in a still image taken from a short video that captures the violent arrest of a man in Kelowna. The police officer is under internal investigation. (Castanet)

A second video of a violent arrest in Kelowna, B.C., shows an RCMP officer who appears to punch a suspect at least 10 times while the man is being restrained by two other officers.

The 60-second video shows a longer portion of the Saturday evening arrest than what is depicted in a short video that surfaced Tuesday, which has provoked criticism of the officers' conduct in subduing the man.

The Kelowna RCMP are conducting an internal investigation.

Supt. Brent Mundle said officers responded to a report of an intoxicated man who was found inside a vehicle.

Mundle said the suspect was unco-operative and clenched his fists as he struggled with the officers, who called a third officer for backup.

The initial video shows the third officer — who has not been identified by RCMP — appearing to punch the suspect repeatedly in the head.

The second video shows the officers struggling with the suspect for at least 35 seconds before the third RCMP officer arrives.

The officer appears to deliver two rounds of punches, for a total of at least 10 strikes, before the suspect is taken to the ground and out of sight beside the vehicle.

WATCH | Video shows violent arrest:

A second video of an RCMP arrest shows an officer punching at least 10 times a man who is being restrained by other police. 1:00

'Everyone was kind of shocked'

"It was a very tough thing to see," said Tyson Gillies, who filmed the video as he and a group of friends were watching the arrest from the rooftop patio of a nearby restaurant.

"I feel like three trained, grown men should be able to apprehend a suspect ... without using such force, like they did."

Gillies, a Canadian professional baseball player and person of colour who has lived in the United States, said watching the arrest was particularly difficult given the current tensions around police violence in the U.S. 

"It was definitely a tough thing to see given everything going on and given our family and friends in the States," he said. "Everybody in the restaurant ... nobody knew what to say. Everyone was kind of shocked."

Gillies said on Wednesday he has not submitted the video to the RCMP, but may do so.

The suspect was taken to the police station for processing and then transported to hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released. A criminal investigation into his actions is still ongoing.

A spokesperson for the Independent Investigations Office (IIO), the provincial police watchdog, said it is not investigating the incident because it does not meet IIO's threshold of harm.

Former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed, who is also a former chief of the West Vancouver Police Department, is calling for a "transparent and thorough investigation" to be conducted by an independent agency other than the RCMP to rebuild public trust.


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