EDMONTON - Video of a Mountie in Cold Lake, Alta., kicking a suspect during a difficult arrest has prompted the RCMP to launch an investigation.
Three officers from the Cold Lake detachment responded around 1 a.m. Saturday to a complaint of 100 intoxicated people causing a disturbance at a community hall.
One man was taken into custody, and video of the arrest, which shows one of the officers kicking the suspect in the face, made it onto YouTube.
WARNING THIS VIDEO CONTAINS OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE
It was the third visit to the hall that evening and party organizers had already been warned about minors consuming alcohol on site, RCMP said.
As officers tried to disperse the crowd, an intoxicated man refused to leave and became aggressive towards the officers, police said.
"He started posturing as if he wanted to fight," Supt. Randy McGinnis, RCMP district commander for eastern Alberta, said. "He started flexing, making faces, and staring at the officers. They decided they should deal with this individual before he became more agitated."
The video comes in as two officers have the man — said to be 5-foot-10 and about 300 lbs. — on the ground, attempting to gain control.
McGinnis said the suspect was told several times he was under arrest but wouldn't comply with verbal commands.
Pepper spray and batons were used, to no avail, he added.
The 54-second video shows the struggle, with two officers attempting to put two sets of cuffs on the suspect, because his muscular arms couldn't physically reach together.
"He's struggling, he's trying to prevent us from doing this. And the members now know that he has two weapons, his fists, and they didn't want to lose grasp," McGinnis said.
"We would typically use a stun technique, typically an elbow or a knee. But the member had his left knee on the person's back, trying to pin him down, the only thing that was available was his right leg."
McGinnis said the video shocked him, but it's important that the public know the whole story.
The video will now be used for training purposes, to show recruits just "how fast things can get out of control."
A public complaint has yet to be filed, but the RCMP say an investigation has been launched, the results of which will be reviewed by a senior member from elsewhere in the province, as well as a use-of-force expert.
The 21-year-old suspect is charged with causing a disturbance.