The officer involved in what RCMP is describing as an ‘uncooperative’ arrest, caught on video, is being reassigned to administrative duties.
Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, the senior media relations officer at the RCMP’s E Division, stated the officer’s duty status is subject to continuous review and assessment.
The officer’s reassignment comes after an incident that occurred on the evening of May 30 when RCMP responded to a report of an alleged impaired driver behind the wheel of a vehicle in a parking lot in the 200-block of Bernard Avenue in Kelowna.
Police attended the area and found a 30-year-old Kelowna man, intoxicated and inside the vehicle. The man was uncooperative with police and was arrested for allegedly obstructing a police officer.
However, the arrest was filmed by two different witnesses and shows two officers arresting a man when a third Mountie arrives on the scene and allegedly uses excessive force.
Supt. Brent Mundle called the officer’s alleged excessive use of force during last weekend’s arrest “concerning”, during a June 2 press conference.
“Obviously in the short duration of the video, the action is concerning,” said Supt. Brent Mundle.
One of the videos is 12-seconds long and Mundle said it 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.
The second minute-long video shows a lengthier struggle with the suspect during the shocking Saturday evening (May 30) arrest, which has resulted in the internal investigation of an unnamed officer.
“I was very disturbed,” said Tyson Gillies, the man who shot the video from the rooftop patio of Kelly O’Bryan’s in downtown Kelowna. “I looked around at the table of all my friends I was with and I couldn’t help but see it in their eyes either.”
This second video shows two officers struggling with the man for about 30 seconds before the arrival of the third officer. The officer appears to land at least 10 strikes in two rounds of punches.
Two days after Supt. Mundle made comments during the press conference it was announced Kelowna’s top cop is moving to a position within the Southeast District Senior Management Team.
Supt. Mundle came to Kelowna in July 2015 as the operations officer, then took over the role of officer in charge in December 2016.