Police say video showing a Surrey RCMP officer apparently punching a driver in the Morgan Creek area Friday morning does not show the whole picture.
“It does look concerning, obviously,” Cpl. Elenore Sturko told Peace Arch News. “Even when force is justified… it is still disturbing to see.”
Following a tweet sharing a 15-second video – captured at 32 Avenue and 160 Street just before 11:30 a.m. by a TikTok user – of the altercation, police tweeted “some context.”
The driver/vehicle fled after backing into our police car. Vehicle was found abandoned a short time later. Police dog track was negative. The vehicle has been seized and we'll be following up with the registered owner & continuing investigation. Our officer is ok.— Surrey RCMP (@SurreyRCMP) January 24, 2020
“Our officer was responding to a report of an erratic/possibly impaired driver this morning when he came across the vehicle, driver slumped over,” the tweet states.
“When officer tried to wake the driver he became combative and began to fight…”
Sturko told PAN that the subject vehicle was parked on the boulevard, its engine running and the driver slumped over the wheel when the responding officer arrived.
When the officer tried to rouse the driver, the individual became aggressive, she said.
The video shows the officer leaning inside the driver-side door of a dark-coloured vehicle. He then backs away, closes the door and punches through the open window three times before the vehicle can be seen backing away.
In a second tweet, Surrey RCMP explained that the driver fled the scene after backing into the officer’s vehicle. Efforts to track the individual using a police dog were unsuccessful, and the suspect vehicle “was found abandoned a short time later,” the tweet states.
Sturko told PAN the subject vehicle was found near 143A Street and 82 Avenue, has been seized by police and that investigation is ongoing.
She described the incident as “quite a dangerous situation for our member to be in,” and said it was “very fortunate” that no one was injured.