The Kelowna RCMP’s top cop has called an officer’s alleged excessive use of force during a weekend arrest “concerning.”
“Obviously in the short duration of the video, the action is concerning,” said Supt. Brent Mundle while addressing the media on Tuesday, June 2.
The video he spoke of stems from a May 30 arrest in which Kelowna officers responded to a complaint from the public of a man who allegedly appeared intoxicated inside a vehicle in the 200-block of Bernard Avenue.
The 30-year-old man in the vehicle was uncooperative, according to police.
“Because of the difficulty in safely bringing the man under control, the officers requested a third member attend the scene,” Mundle said.
“When the third officer arrived, he observed that the man was still resisting arrest.
“In order to gain control of the situation, and for the safety of the officers, he was struck several times and was then taken to the ground and handcuffed.”
Part of the incident was caught in a 12-second video, which Mundle said is one short moment out of the entire arrest process.
“It does not include what precipitated the situation where the officer felt the physical force seen in the video was necessary,” he said.
“It is important when I review these matters that I look at the full incident and what happened prior and after so that I can fully understand before coming to a judgement.”
The officer, who has been on the force for three years, is now the subject of an internal review.
Mundle said he will review the events prior to the use of force, as well as the moments after, before he can come to a conclusion.
Mundle confirmed RCMP officers are trained to use force if they deem the situation needs it, but he acknowledged the incident caught on the video is still concerning.
He said the current situation in the U.S. has also prompted them to look at the incident in a different light.
“Obviously, what we’re seeing south of the border is very disturbing and concerning. And certainly the actions…what occurred here has been looked at in a similar light by individuals in the community,” he said.
“In policing, public confidence is very important to us. That’s why when this matter was brought to our attention, we’ve been treating the matter very seriously…
“We’ve initiated the investigation and the processes that we have.”
There is no timeline yet of how long the investigation will take.
Mundle said the officer’s duty status will be determined in the next coming days.
Anyone who witnessed the arrest is asked to call Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.