Blue Line

Kingston Police respond to viral arrest video

September 30, 2021  By Canadian Press / Local Journalism Initiative

Sept. 29, 2021 – Kingston Police have provided their side to a video of a forceful takedown and arrest by two officers on Saturday night.

In the widely circulated video, a man is heard yelling “tell me what I did wrong” as he’s being taken to the ground by officers, who respond that he was causing a disturbance.

Kingston Police say shortly before 10 PM the 41 year old, presently unidentified man was seen by officers standing in the middle of the street yelling and holding up his middle fingers to them. In their retelling of events, officers note that the man apparently had issues with a prior police cruiser who had come through the area.

In the posting of the initial video, the uploader states that the police car “may have rolled a stop sign” and that the individual pictured yells “something along the lines of ‘you didn’t stop!’” a few times. The video itself starts as the arrest is happening from slightly down the street of the incident, and there is little background information.

In their response, Kingston Police continue that the man had been drinking and continued to yell profanities while refusing to return to the sidewalk. Kingston Police state that the officers further attempted to defuse the situation by driving off, but when the man’s behaviour persisted the officers turned around and arrested him. It’s unclear where in this retelling of the incident that the recording would have begun.

Despite the statement by police, the incident has set off a string of community members reflecting on negative interactions with officers. Some have complained that the current University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) has emboldened police, alleging that some tickets and arrests made over the past couple of weeks have been unreasonable.

In their post addressing the incident, Kingston Police note their recommended process to complaints made against officers.

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