Calgary

Violent Calgary Stampede arrest was good police work, deputy chief and defence lawyer say

Officers who punched and kneed an intoxicated man while arresting him at the Calgary Stampede appear to have acted properly, according to Calgary's acting deputy police chief and a defence lawyer who watched a video of the takedown.

Use of force justified after drunken man reached for officer's Taser, experts say

Calgary police say the man went for an officer's duty belt during the arrest Wednesday and had his hand on a Taser. (@AshtonRice2/Twitter)

Officers who punched and kneed an intoxicated man while arresting him at the Calgary Stampede appear to have acted properly, according to Calgary's acting deputy police chief and a defence lawyer who watched a video of the takedown.

Acting deputy chief James Hardy said the man grabbed an officer's belt, near his Taser, and that resulted in an escalation of force.

"It's not necessarily a pleasant business that we have, but that is a reality of police work," he said.

The arrest will be reviewed, but Hardy said it appears to him to be good police work.

Police were called to the Nashville North tent just before 10 p.m. Wednesday, where a man was allegedly stealing other people's drinks and refusing to leave.

Ashton Rice, who recorded the video and posted it on Twitter, didn't witness what led up to the arrest, but said the man was "very drunk" and the incident escalated quickly.

"They just kept on kneeing him and punching him in the face while he was already on the ground in the puddle," Rice said.

"People were yelling at them to stop. One cop in the cowboy hat just kept kneeing him, kneeing him, kneeing him."

Dale Fedorchuk, a defence lawyer, watched the video and said it's difficult to conclude the officers went too far in their reactions.

"Where there's a potential for greater harm to not only the officers, but the surrounding public, if someone manages to get a hold of their weapon, I could see where, in this particular case, the violence would escalate," he said.

The man who was arrested is a 23-year-old British citizen.

Police said he has been charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of justice.

With files from Scott Dippel

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