Victoria police Tasering arrest caught on camera
CTV British Columbia
Published Monday, August 19, 2013 11:03PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, August 20, 2013 7:05PM PDT
Victoria police are defending the actions of two officers who were filmed Tasering a suspect twice on a busy downtown street on Saturday.
Video of the arrest that was uploaded to YouTube reveals the officers shouting at the man to “drop it,” referring to a knife he was allegedly swinging but cannot be seen, possibly due to the poor quality of the footage.
The officers tackle the suspect to the ground before Tasering him. He then escapes and can be heard cursing and saying, “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
A few seconds later, he tries to run away and is Tasered again, causing him to fall face-down onto the pavement.
Responses to the video have varied online, with some expressing outrage at what they perceive as an unjustified level of force and others stating that the officers handled a potentially dangerous situation well.
Victoria police spokesman Bowen Osoko said the suspect is well-known to authorities, and the officers did a good job of diffusing the situation.
“The fact that it was over quickly, and that fact that it was over with very minor injury, frankly, to the person waving the knife around is probably a good thing,” Osoko told CTV News.
The suspect’s forehead was cut when he hit the road. He was taken to hospital, treated and released back into custody. One of the officers suffered cuts and scrapes during the struggle, according to police.
Authorities allege the suspect also brandished a knife at a group of people a few hours before the confrontation.
Victoria resident Sean Michael Kelly, 36, faces charges of assault with a weapon, assault with intention to resist arrest and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose.
B.C.’s Independent Investigations Office will not look into the case because nobody was seriously injured, but the Office of the Police Complaint Commission is monitoring the file.
Have your say: Were the officers’ actions justified?