Video of officer punching man's face 'concerning,' says head of Kelowna RCMP
Three Kelowna RCMP officers attempt to take a man into custody in a parking lot on May 30, 2020. (Castanet.net)
VANCOUVER -- Witness video that shows a Kelowna RCMP officer punching a man in the head repeatedly during an arrest is "concerning" at first glance, the head of the detachment acknowledged this week.
The 12-second video, which was obtained by the news website Castanet, shows two officers struggling to arrest a man in a Kelowna parking lot Saturday evening. A third officer then shows up and quickly begins swinging at the suspect's head.
On Tuesday, Supt. Brent Mundle, commanding officer of the Kelowna RCMP, addressed the recording and promised that a full review of the incident was already underway.
"Obviously, in the short duration of the video, the action is concerning," Mundle told reporters.
But the superintendent also said the clip only "illustrates one short moment" during the interaction, which he said began when police received a complaint about a man in a vehicle who appeared to be intoxicated.
Mundle alleged that the suspect was uncooperative, and that the third officer was called in as backup to help take control of the situation. The suspect was struck "for the safety of the officers," according to the superintendent.
Mundle also acknowledged that the incident comes amid a wave of protests and unrest prompted by police violence and racism, and that Saturday's incident "has been seen in a similar light by individuals and within the community," according to a Castanet report.
Authorities said B.C.'s police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, is not investigating what happened because the suspect's injuries were not serious enough to meet its threshold. The IIO only investigates police-involved incidents that result in death or serious harm.