This is the moment baton-wielding cops were surrounded by an angry mob and accused of being ‘racists’ after they tackled a young black man to the ground in Vancouver.
Footage shows an angry mob hurling abuse at three police officers as they struggled to detain the suspect who screamed at them and angrily lashed out at English Bay on Friday evening.
Bystanders yelled, ‘racist motherf***ers,’ accused them of being ‘f***ing racists,’ and asked the cops why they hadn’t apprehended a white suspect instead – although it’s not clear to whom they were referring.
Vancouver Police said their officers were trying to disperse a crowd when an ‘aggressor’ refused to leave and exhibited ‘assaultive behavior towards police and the public.’
They said the unnamed black man, who is in his 20s, was making others feel ‘unsafe’ and left officers with injuries, including one who was sent to hospital.
Footage shows a crowd hurling abuse at three police officers as they struggle to detain the suspect who screams at them and angrily lashes out at English Bay on Friday evening (pictured: the officers pin the suspect down, left, as dozens of people gather around the cops, right)
A third police officer arrives to help bring the suspect down, left, and the police officers fall to the ground with the suspect, right
Video shot by a witness captures the dispute from the moment that two officers have already taken hold of the suspect.
A young man and a young woman are already filming with their phones at that stage and hurling abuse at the officers, claiming they are racist.
The suspect is seen trying to wrestle the two police officers, a man and a woman, off of him, while the young man filming up close also gets involved.
The suspect shouts abuse at the officers and tries to fight free of their grip.
The officers draw their batons and yell at the growing crowd around them to get back.
A third policeman rushes to help them hold onto the suspect as the young man filming up close, who is white, also gets involved in the altercation.
One of the officers rips this man’s phone from his hands and throws it away. The young man responds by drawing his fist back as if to punch the officer before another bystander pulls him away.
The tussle with the suspect continues to deteriorate and the police force him to the ground, falling onto his back and pinning him down.
At this point, the crowd become increasingly agitated, shouting obscenities at the cops and calling them racist.
A witness told CTV that the man being detained was not an aggressor and had been trying to break up a fight.
‘He broke up the fight, he didn’t do anything wrong and they’re over here arresting him and doing nothing to the white guy and it’s really messed up,’ Saina Rezaei told CTV.
She claimed that the police were racist because they had not done anything about the white man who was also involved in the fight.
‘They don’t treat people equally, they’re being racist for no reason,’ she said.
Police denied they were racist.
Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Const. Steve Addison told CTV: ‘What happened last night was the direct result of this man’s assaultive behavior towards police and the public. It had nothing to do with race, and it is irresponsible to suggest otherwise.’
Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Const. Steve Addison told CTV: ‘What happened last night was the direct result of this man’s assaultive behavior towards police and the public. It had nothing to do with race, and it is irresponsible to suggest otherwise.’ (pictured: the man struggles as the police detain him, left, and a third police officer arrives to help his colleagues, right)
‘He became hostile, began causing a disturbance, assaulted at least one of our officers, and resisted arrest,’ Addison added.
Local resident Susan Cunningham who shot video of the arrest said she thinks the police did well under circumstances.
‘It was a very tense situation,’ she told CTV, referencing how the crowd had been screaming at the officers.
‘I was actually worried about this crowd becoming more of a mob and worried about the safety of everyone involved because it seemed like this was ready to ignite,’ she said. ‘Just an unruly situation and I think police did their very best to restrain things.’
Eventually other officers arrived on the scene to help deal with the crowd while the suspect was taken into custody.
Addison said he faces multiple charges.
Police also handcuffed several more people at the scene who were later released and asked to leave the area.
The initial altercation that sparked the arrest remains under investigation.
Police said that two of their officers suffered ‘cuts and bruises,’ while the third who was sent to hospital is expected to make a full recovery.