Video shows Halifax officer pointing weapon, yelling something 'unacceptable' at man with hands up
Police officer was pointing weapon at a Black man, say 2 activists who shared video
Halifax police have started an internal investigation after a video surfaced on social media over the weekend showing an officer saying something "unacceptable" as he appears to be pointing a weapon at a man with his hands up.
The audio on the 28-second video is poor, but at around the eight-second mark, the officer is heard saying something that sounds like, "I will fill you full of f—king lead."
Someone in the room where the video is recorded repeats, "I'll fill you with lead."
Among those who shared the video were DeRico Symonds and Trayvone Clayton, who are two of the founders of the community activist group Game Changers 902. In social media posts accompanying the video, Symonds and Clayton both say the man who has his hands up is Black. CBC News has contacted them for comment.
The video, which appears to have been taken from the balcony of a building, shows the man walking away from the white officer. The two men are walking around a pickup truck in a parking lot.
The officer orders the man to stop, but he doesn't — and at one point the man says, "You're not allowed to shoot me in the back."
At the 19-second mark, the man drops his arms and sprints around an apartment building and out of the lot, as the officer appears to talk on a two-way radio. In the video, the officer does not fire or give chase.
WARNING | This video contains graphic language:
CBC News has not confirmed who recorded the video.
Halifax Regional Police Chief Dan Kinsella said in a statement the incident began after police were called on Friday evening to Wentworth Drive about four males arguing in a parking lot. Kinsella said three men — not in the video — were arrested and a loaded firearm and drugs were seized. The fourth man tried to flee, Kinsella said, which led to the incident caught on video.
Kinsella said the comments that appear to have been made by the officer were "unacceptable," and confirmed the officer was placed on administrative duties pending the conclusion of the investigation.
"We recognize that any such incident can be deeply damaging to police community relations," the statement read. "We are committed to a full investigation and ask members of the public to allow for due process to take place."
Kinsella told CBC News that police have not found the man in the video, but are hoping to talk to him. He said anyone from the public with information should get in touch with police.
Kinsella said the investigation will now take two paths: one looking at what led to the incident, and the other looking into what was said and in what context.
- A previous version of this story said the police officer could be heard in the tape saying, "I will kill you for a f--king laugh." This story has been updated to reflect a different statement.Mar 28, 2021 6:34 AM AT
With files from CBC's Blair Sanderson and The Canadian Press