Blue Line

Watchdog asked to investigate following video of man being punched during arrest

February 26, 2023  By The Canadian Press

Feb. 26, 2023, Edmonton, Alta. – Police in Edmonton say they’ve asked the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team to investigate after video circulated online of a man being repeatedly punched during an arrest last week.

The Edmonton Police Service says in a news release that officers observed a vehicle being driven erratically in a residential neighbourhood northeast of the city’s downtown at around midnight last Wednesday.

They say officers followed it and attempted to arrest the 18-year-old man behind the wheel, but they allege an “altercation” took place and “use of force” occurred.

Police say the man was later released on an appearance notice with two charges and a number of traffic summons.

Edmonton City Coun. Michael Janz retweeted a link to video of an arrest late Wednesday night, calling it “Deeply disturbing anywhere in the world, especially if it is in Edmonton.”

The video, which appears to be from a security camera in a covered parking area of a building, shows a man being confronted by officers and then walking away before one officer approaches him from behind, hits him and continues striking him when he’s on the ground.

“Out of an abundance of caution and the importance of reassuring both the public and police that an independent third party review will be done of the incident, the Director of Law Enforcement (DLE) was notified,” police said in the news release, noting they became aware of the video on Friday.

“The DLE has directed ASIRT to lead the investigation into this incident.”

The release notes that because the police watchdog is investigating, Edmonton police cannot provide further comment.

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