The Abbotsford Police Department (APD) says its professional standards section is reviewing an incident on Saturday night (Nov. 26) in which an officer punched a man twice in the face as he was under arrest.
The incident occurred outside Abbotsford Centre after a concert featuring the bands The Offspring and Simple Plan.
A local resident, Marty Gaites, filmed the incident and posted the one-minute-26-second video to social media.
The video starts with officers surrounding a man who is on the ground. They bring the man to his feet, and two of them attempt to bring the man’s arms around his back.
But the man appears to be resisting and, as he turns towards one of the officers, the officer punches him twice in the face, and the man falls to the ground.
Sgt. Paul Walker, media officer with the Abbotsford Police Department, said the incident took place as officers were dealing with a citizen, and an unrelated man “began to interfere in the investigation.”
“During this time, the man ignored police direction to disengage, but he continued,” Walker said.
He said the officers told the man that he was under arrest for obstruction.
“During the arrest, the man continued to be non-compliant, resulting in the officer using force on him, striking him twice in the face before taking him into custody and placing him in handcuffs,” Walker said.
He said the “use of force” review is being led by the professional standards section, and the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner was notified on Sunday morning (Nov. 27).
“AbbyPD is committed to obtaining all information which led to the use of force in this situation. Unfortunately, as this incident is under investigation, we cannot provide further comment,” Walker said.
He said anyone who witness the incident or who has video is asked to contact the APD at 604-859-5225.