Footage of a Vancouver police officer using knee strikes during an arrest at Thursday’s May Day rally is drawing condemnation online.
Video uploaded to YouTube shows a young man screaming as two officers hold him face-down on the pavement on Granville Street, where dozens gathered for the annual labour protest event.
“Help, help, I’m being oppressed,” he yells in the footage.
One officer uses knee strikes to get his arm behind his back, and the young man appears to respond by hitting another officer with his knee. An officer then bends his wrist until he can be placed in handcuffs.
During parts of the arrest, the young man can be heard making what sound like shrieks of pain. He also identifies himself as a minor, though his identity hasn’t been confirmed.
The Vancouver Police Department said it hasn’t received any complaints about the arrest but will investigate the footage if a complaint is filed.
Const. Brian Montague said three people were arrested during Thursday’s rally for breach of the peace.
“Regrettably, there are times our officers are required to use force during an arrest. What is important to remember is that we never have to use force if the person being arrested complies,” Montague said in an email statement.
Montague could not say why the young man in the footage was arrested.
Several people were masked and some were physically confrontational during the protest, according to police.