People are raising concerns about the use of excessive force after a video surfaced on social media that shows a Vancouver police officer shoving a man to the ground.
While the incident took place in the fall of 2020, the video has resurfaced on numerous social media platforms. It shows a group of VPD officers speaking to a couple of people outside of the Grand Union Pub. At one point, a man starts speaking to an officer who tells him to get out of his space because "there is a pandemic."
The man doesn't move away and the officer proceeds to push him to the ground.
The person filming comments, "I got that on video. That's [expletive] bad he didn't do [expletive]." The officers tell the person filming that the phone is "evidence" and they need to take it. He tells them to "back off."
A person who recently shared the video on Twitter comments to VPD Cheif Adam Palmer: "Is this ok? #excessiveforce."
Have a look at the first video.
Have a look at the second video.
Vancouver police respond to video
VPD Cst. Tania Visintin told Vancouver Is Awesome that officers were in the area of the Grand Union Pub looking for a "man who had called police advising he was suicidal."
The officers couldn't locate the man at first but saw paramedics with an intoxicated female, she explained. They were going to transport the intoxicated woman home in the police wagon as Safe Ride was not available.
"The man in the video expressed concerns and thought police were bringing her to jail The officers had asked him to get back multiple times but he refused."
Officers then learnt the man they were dealing with was the man who was stating he was suicidal, adds Visintin. Once paramedics checked out the man and cleared him medically, the officers brought him to the hospital "to be seen by a psychiatric doctor."
In the fall of 2020, the incident was investigated by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner for British Columbia (OPCC) and was concluded as "unsubstantiated."
Visintin notes that the video came to the VPD's attention over the weekend and was sent back to the OPCC for further review.
V.I.A. has reached out to the individual who filmed the incident.