NEWS

Angry Crowd Confronting Officer During LCBO Arrest Caught On Video

12/02/2015 02:26 EST | Updated 12/02/2016 05:12 EST
A prolonged struggle between a suspect and a Toronto police officer — seen in a video posted online on Monday — shows an officer making a lawful arrest despite "dangerous" levels of interference by members of the public, according to police officials.

But the person who posted the 16-minute video claims it shows the result of an unprovoked assault by an officer who was discriminating against black people while standing guard at the LCBO near the Sheridan Mall. 

I'll like everyone to SHARE this video. This officer was standing inside the liquor store, his job in there was to make sure nobody steals. My friend and I walked in the liquor store and he was watching my friend and I but it didn't bother us because we saw that every black person who walked into the #LCBO at #sheridanmall, the officer would stare at them in an intimidating manner. He seemed very unhappy and upset. He was probably forced to come to the liquor store and he didnt want to be there. Nevertheless, a young black guy walked into the liquor store and the officer grabbed him and took him outside the liquor store and told him he wasn't allowed in the liquor store. My friend and I walked out of the liquor store and the gentleman was out of the officer's range and sight standing by a subway restaurant. The officer was still standing in front of the liquor store instigating the problem because he was keen to do something to the gentleman. The officer said to my friend and I when we were walking out the liquor store "can you believe he walked into the liquor store and threw a piece of garbage at my feet? " We didn't say nothing back to him and proceded to mind our business and walk to our car. Not knowing the officer's words he said to us was him trying to justify to us before he takes his anger and power trip on to the gentleman. My friend and I took 3 steps to go to our car and when we turned back around, the officer was punching the gentleman and tackled him down aggressively with his knees on his neck. A man who owns a store there was trying to help out the officer to pick up the guy from the ground to put handcuffs on him but the officer felt like superman and thought he was the law and he's untouchable. When the back ups came, just because the officer injured HIMSELF because of aggressiveness with the gentleman and punching him multiple times and tackling him on the ground, the officer hit his right side of his head on the wall and he started bleeding. Which Toronto Police are now trying to say the kid who was harmless on the ground injured the officer... what i actually know what happened is this officer is a power tripper and he felt powerless and disrespected thats why he did what he did... All of this was preventable by the officer going back inside the liquor to do what he was there to do after he told the gentleman he wasn't allow inside the liquor store. Instead he stood there because he felt that the young man had no fear for him as an officer of the law so he had to make the young man fear him by punching him, knee on his neck, and using profanities to people who were trying to help him out so he doesn't choke the young man on the ground with his knees.This is my personal Vendetta with the Toronto Police. I don't trust any of them. Yes I know not all of them are the same but I have my reasons. Around 2010. I was at a barber shop at Vaughn and oakwood in the west end of Toronto. I knew my licence was suspended but I didn't drive my friend was the driver of my car. I finished getting my hair caught so I decided to go and move the car into the plaza because there were no parking space there when we first got there. I pulled into the plaza, got out of the car and locked the doors to walk back to the barbershop to wait for my friend to finish getting his hair cut. Looked behind me and there were a female officer and a male officer. They asks who's care was it because the owner of the car licence is suspended. With me being nervous I gave them asks wrong name and told them the owner of the car is inside the barber shop. Which they found out I was the owner because they illegally searched me and find my ID. They decided to put me in handcuffs but the aggressiveness they were using pulling me dragging me all over made me resist a little I kept telling them "don't force me I'll put my hands behind my back on my own" repeatedly but they didn't care they wanted to feel powerful by grabbing on me and using aggressiveness. They didn't want their job to be easy for them without nobody getting hurt. They realized that they couldn't match with my strength so they called for back up. When back ups came, there were over 12 police cruisers. One of the officers pulled me aside and whispered in my ear these exact words which I will never forget, "You're giving them a hard time eh? You f**king nigger wait till we get to the station we'll f**k you up". I was shocked to hear those words from a police officer who was suppose to serve and protect. He stood by me the whole time they did a criminal record check on me and they found out that I have no criminal record so they had to give me a promise to appear in court and let me go. When I looked at the officer who said all those bad words to me, the look on his face was priceless meaning he really wanted to do those things to me and reason he said that too was he stereotyped me right away and thought I had a criminal record so they will automatically have to take me to the station so they can do what he said they were going to do to me... From that day I never in my life trusted a Toronto Police officer or any officers of the law because they are all power trippers and that office is very lucky because I was in handcuffs and I couldn't reach my phone to record what he said and even if I took a stand and told someone what he said to me nobody would have believed me... but thanks to social media someone out there will.. #policebrutality #verbally #emotionally and #physically #powertrip #alllivesmatters #blacklivesmatters #cp24

Posted by Ajith Thala on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The video was posted on Facebook by a Hamilton-area man who claims he and a friend were at the liquor store near Jane Street and Wilson Avenue when a confrontation between the officer and a young black man quickly escalated. 

Ajith Thala says he and his friend saw the officer stop the man from entering the store. 

Moments later "the officer was punching the gentleman and tackled him down aggressively with his knees on his neck," Thala wrote. 

The scene that followed, as seen in the video, was tense and chaotic. The officer, who is white, is seen perched on top of the struggling suspect while a number of other people shout for him to be released. The language is often profane. 

The officer appears to be calling for backup while attempting to handcuff the man.

I'll like everyone to SHARE this video. This officer was standing inside the liquor store, his job in there was to make...

Posted by Ajith Thala on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

One bystander in particular, a man wearing a Blue Jays jacket, gets very close to the officer while shouting at him. After about four minutes other officers arrive, but the angry shouts and confrontations continue. 

None of the people in the video has been identified. 

Thala claims, prior to the incident, the officer was "intimidating" any black people who came into the store. 

Lawful arrest

But police officials say the officer, who was on paid duty for the LCBO, was trying to make a lawful arrest after the suspect struck him. 

Police spokesman Mark Pugash says the officer barred the man, who was acting "fidgety," from entering the store. The officer asked for the man's ID and was about to issue a trespassing notice when the man allegedly struck him, hitting his vest. 

He was then arrested for assaulting an officer. During the struggle the officer's head was injured, Pugash said in a statement. 

"This is dangerous behaviour and troubling as the people in this crowd seem to want to take the law into their own hands." 

"At least one person in a crowd of people attempts to obstruct the arrest, which is a criminal offence," Pugash said, apparently referring to the man in the Jays jacket.

"What is especially concerning is that members of the public shout down an officer trying to make a lawful arrest and try to free the person he has in his custody," he said. 

"This is dangerous behaviour and troubling as the people in this crowd seem to want to take the law into their own hands." 

The suspect has been arrested and faces a charge of assaulting a police officer. Police say the incident occurred on Nov. 27 at 4 p.m.