Vancouver police have launched an investigation after one of their officers was caught on CBC video kicking a restrained and handcuffed suspect in the chest.
And now it’s happening in Vancouver, Canada.
On Wednesday evening, police responded to a call about a robbery at a store and reports that a man was taking off his clothes and trying to enter a home. They found 39-year-old Ryan James Felton running around a residential neighborhood in his underwear in what police have called “an apparent bad reaction to drugs.”
The circumstances leading up to the incident are unclear, but a Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) producer was on hand to film the subsequent scene. In his video, police can be seen arresting a man in his underwear, asking him if he has a gun, and questioning him about drugs. The man, in handcuffs, does not appear to put up a struggle.
As the CBC producer keeps filming the scene, a plainclothes officer kicks Felton in the chest, with enough force to snap the suspect’s head back. Felton falls to one side, still handcuffed. Click here to watch this brutal incident as it was filmed.
From CBC Canada:
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association says the officer’s actions are borderline criminal, and shows that the Vancouver Police Department has not learned from other recent high-profile cases involving excessive force.
“This is somebody who is handcuffed, virtually naked, sitting on the sidewalk, getting kicked. And that’s not acceptable,” said BCCLA spokesman David Eby.
“When you have somebody who is… very clearly not a threat and you use force, there’s no legal authority to do that,” Eby said.
The Vancouver Police say the officer involved will “not be deployed operationally” until an investigation is conducted.
“The Vancouver Police Professional Standards Section has initiated an investigation into the actions of a plainclothes police officer who allegedly committed an assault by kicking a handcuffed prisoner in the chest,” the force said in a statement.
Police say the suspect, Felton, was taken to Vancouver General Hospital on Wednesday night, treated for a drug overdose, and returned to police custody. He has been charged with one count of robbery: accused of taking $150 in cash and $250 in merchandise from a sex shop.
That doesn’t make it OK to kick the suspect in the chest, so hard that he fell to the ground. To kick a man who is handcuffed, nearly naked, sitting on a sidewalk, and not posing a threat to anyone, is unacceptable.
And you have to wonder how widespread this behavior is amongst police officers; how many more incidents like this happen regularly, but are not caught on video?
This police brutality has got to stop.
What do you think?
Photo Credit: screenshot from CBC television