YouTube arrest video prompts use-of-force probe
CTV British Columbia
Published Monday, July 8, 2013 7:07PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, July 8, 2013 7:56PM PDT
A YouTube video depicting a CTV News employee being arrested outside a Port Moody pub has sparked an internal use-of-force investigation.
The 18-second clip shows an officer hitting Herbert Ramos on the back of the head then throwing him to the ground outside the Golden Spike Pub early Sunday morning.
“I fall over and I could hear my own thud and I was out,” said Ramos, who was not on-shift at the time of the arrest.
Ramos and girlfriend Tracey Ferris, both of whom had been drinking, were in an argument with bouncers prior to the takedown, but the 30-year-old claims police never bothered to speak to him before striking.
The couple was locked in holding cells for the night.
The Port Moody Police Department said officers were responding to a 911 call from Golden Spike staff, who reported a man and woman had been ejected for assaulting and threatening employees.
Ramos and Ferris deny that characterization, and say the argument started simply because Ferris refused to show staff her ID after paying her bill.
The bar has security cameras that may have captured the incident, but employees would not share the footage with CTV News on Monday.
Const. Luke Van Winkle said police arrived shortly after midnight and saw people yelling obscenities outside the bar.
“Despite multiple warnings, the male was uncooperative during the arrest and was subsequently taken to the ground,” Const. Luke Van Winkle said.
Van Winkle said the department is reviewing the incident to determine whether there was any wrongdoing on the officer’s part.
The man who shot the YouTube video, the couple’s friend Devin Shepher, insists Ramos did not resist arrest before being thrown down.
“They didn’t give him a chance to explain what was going on. They didn’t tell him they were going to arrest him or handcuff him or anything,” Shepher said.
Ramos suffered soft-tissue damage during the arrest, and the couple has filed a formal complaint with the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Scott Roberts