Coquitlam RCMP Arrest Video: New Westminster Police Will Conduct External Review

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VANCOUVER - An outside police force has been called in to look at how Mounties handled an arrest of two seniors that was captured on a video that is circulating online.

A statement from the RCMP on Saturday said New Westminster police have been asked to conduct an investigation that will look at the entire incident, including the actions of Coquitlam RCMP.

The video posted on YouTube appears to show an officer dragging a man down a staircase while another officer arrests a woman, who appears to fall at one point.

coquitlam rcmp arrestA screengrab from the video shot by a witness.

Police have already looked into whether communication and language barriers were a contributing factor.

A Korean-speaking New Westminster officer followed up with the couple and determined that they do speak English, Scott said.

In an interview with the CBC, Myung Ju Lee described how he and his wife, Kap Su Lee, were treated by police.

"He grabbed my arm, twisted it, put it behind my back, then kicked me down the stairs from the second floor,'' he said.

The couple told the CBC they spent the night in the hospital, having received bruises and scrapes as a result of the incident.

"Our department is ... treating this how we would treat any other type of investigation: by being fair to everybody involved and looking at this from a perspective of total objectivity and impartiality."

Sgt. Jeff Scott, a spokesman for New Westminster Police, said no formal complaint about the incident had been filed when the RCMP requested an investigation.

Scott said it's not uncommon for an external agency or department to be called in to investigate an incident where police are involved.

"Our department is looking at this and treating this how we would treat any other type of investigation: by being fair to everybody involved and looking at this from a perspective of total objectivity and impartiality," he said.

Investigators will speak to witnesses, the couple who were arrested and review all video footage including any surveillance footage that is available.

Scott said it's too early to know how long the probe will take or what type of recommendations it may lead to.

Witnesses said couple refused to leave meeting

A statement from RCMP Supt. Sean Maloney said police were called to a hotel in the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam on Wednesday evening after they received a report that fighting had broken out at a tenants meeting.

The meeting was stopped, but Maloney said officers arrested an elderly couple — who witnesses said had refused to leave — and police will be forwarding a report to the Crown about criminal charges.

Police have not released updates on whether charges against the couple are still being investigated.

Maloney said a preliminary review of the video confirmed the involvement of Coquitlam RCMP members.

"I respect and understand that the video may cause concern to the public," Maloney said in a release.

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