Winnipeg police provide details, break down video of officer kicking suspect during arrest
WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg police released new video today they said “provides better context” to an arrest in the city’s Exchange District on Thursday that sparked some outrage after part of the incident was shared online.
“There’s a video that was shared on social media very widely. Admittedly it’s a tough video to watch,” said Const. Jay Murray of the Winnipeg Police Service. “It involves the use of force by our officers."
“We don’t want to use force. We never do. But it’s a necessity, it’s a requirement of the job at times.”
The initial video was posted online by Winnipeg Police Cause Harm on Thursday, a group that describes itself on Facebook as “a police abolitionist organization.”
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS VIOLENT CONTENT
During Friday’s press conference, Winnipeg police showed the additional video which they said provides more context.
“It’s no secret that there’s been a lot of scrutiny on police across North America over the last few days and weeks,” said Murray.
“Any time there’s a video like this that’s shared widely, obviously some inaccurate information comes out, some misinformation, and I think the public asks a lot of questions that they want answered, so this is an opportunity to provide those answers.”
Murray said Winnipeg police were told a man was seen carrying weapons that included a piece of metal and an alleged handgun, and said “officers arrived on the scene minutes later and encountered the individual.”
A total of five Winnipeg police officers can be seen at various points in the video responding to the arrest. The video shows two officers attempting to restrain a suspect on the ground. One officer kicks the suspect twice while another uses a Taser and kicks an alleged knife to the side.
“Officers initially begin using what we call soft empty hand control and transition to hard empty hand control when it’s proved to be ineffective,” Murray said.
“Hard empty hand control is physical control that has a higher likelihood of injuring a person but is not intended to cause grievous bodily harm or death. And this includes striking techniques, which are seen on the video.”
POLICE ALLEGE SUSPECT WAS ON METH
According to police, a 33-year-old who was allegedly on meth vandalized a section of the Centennial Concert Hall, smashed a window and broke into the building.
After being confronted by security, police say the man left and brandished what appeared to be a handgun, terrifying several pedestrians.
Police said on Friday the handgun was determined to be an airsoft gun.
Police said the man refused to listen to police and allegedly assaulted an officer when they tried to arrest him.
The man was taken into custody. Police said in addition to the gun and knife, officers discovered he was carrying a metal pipe and had needles in his pockets.
Police said the man was not injured during the arrest.
Flinn Nolan Dorian, 33, from Winnipeg faces multiple charges, including three counts of possession of a weapon, resisting a police officer and assaulting a police officer.
The charges have not been tested in court.
WINNIPEG POLICE SERVICE USE OF FORCE
Murray said the vast majority of encounters that police have with individuals are resolved without the need for force.
He said last year, four out of every 1000 incidents involved the use of force.
“That’s a statistic that we’re pretty proud of,” said Murray. “Our work will never be done until that number becomes zero."
'I FOUND IT DIFFICULT TO WATCH': MAYOR
In a press conference at city hall Friday, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman addressed the video of the arrest and said he has watched it.
“Like many use-of-force incidents, it’s difficult," said Mayor Bowman. "I found it difficult to watch."
Bowman said he was pleased to hear there were no injuries to the individual or the members of the Winnipeg Police Service involved in the incident.
“I spoke with Winnipeg Police Service Chief Danny Smyth and appreciate the Winnipeg Police Service releasing additional information and other videos today for the public to be able to see,” said Bowman.
The mayor noted that the Independent Investigations Unit of Manitoba has the ability to review this matter if they feel it is in the public’s interest.