Original Title: Police order probe over video showing officer kicking two people during arrest
Victoria police have launched an internal investigation after a YouTube video surfaced showing a police officer delivering several kicks to two young men during an arrest near a downtown nightclub.
The 56-second video shot under the dim illumination of streetlights shows a man lying motionless on the sidewalk in front of a shop on Store Street between Pandora Avenue and Johnson Street.
Close by on the street, a small group of people appears to be struggling when a yellow-jacketed Victoria police officer approaches the group and twice kicks the person who appears to be on the pavement in the centre of the group. It’s unclear in the darkness whether the man who was kicked was resisting arrest, or if another uniformed officer is in the group.
The yellow-jacketed officer then speaks to a bystander and walks to a grassy median, where he tells a man wearing white sneakers to get down on the ground. The man initially complies, but then attempts to crawl away as a second officer tries to handcuff him. As the second officer grapples with the man, the yellow-jacketed officer circles and places a hard kick into the man’s back. The yellow-jacketed officer appears to knee him twice more before the man is handcuffed, and the footage ends.
Victoria police spokesman Sgt. Grant Hamilton said Victoria police learned of the YouTube video yesterday. He said it captures three officers trying to subdue eight individuals at 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning. The foot-patrol officers had come upon a number of men who were kicking the head of the prone man seen in the video. Hamilton said the alleged assailants, aged between 19 and 27, had apparently just exited a nearby nightclub called The Victoria Social Club at 560 Johnson St.
“Our officers tried to intervene,” Hamilton said. “They used [pepper] spray to disperse the crowd. What you see is three officers trying to take eight people in custody.”
Six men were eventually taken into custody, but all were released, as the victim refused to co-operate with the investigation. He was taken to hospital for treatment and released. Another man was treated by paramedics at the scene.
No one involved has filed a complaint with police, but Victoria police have launched an internal investigation based on complaints from the public since the YouTube video aired.
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is monitoring the investigation and Victoria police Chief Jamie Graham will be the disciplinary authority.
“The investigation will determine whether that use of force was justified and appropriate in the circumstances,” Hamilton said.
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