UPDATE 2:55 p.m.
The commanding officer of the Kelowna RCMP admitted Tuesday, at first glance, the actions of one of his officers during a physical arrest downtown Saturday are “concerning.”
“Obviously in the short duration of the video, the action is concerning,” Supt. Brent Mundle said, adding a full internal review of the incident is underway.
“It is important when I review these matters, that I look at the full incident and what happened prior and after so that I can fully understand before coming to a judgement.”
Mundle reiterated that the video of the arrest obtained by Castanet shows just a portion of the entire incident, and the internal review would examine why the officer involved felt the need to use such a level of force.
“I recognize that the tactics seen in the video are shocking to many people. Any time an officer is required to apply a use of force option during an arrest it can appear very disturbing," he said, noting there are times when fist strikes are warranted during an arrest.
With protests against police brutality raging in the United States, Mundle says they are taking the incident seriously.
“What we are seeing south of the border is very concerning, and certainly the actions of what occurred here has been seen in a similar light by individuals and within the community,” Mundle said. “In policing, public confidence is very important to us and that’s why when this matter was brought to our attention, we’ve been treating the matter very seriously.”
The officer involved, who has been an RCMP member for three years, is currently not on the job and a decision on his duty status will be made in the coming days, Mundle said, adding he could not estimate on how long the review into the arrest will take.
Mundle said he believed the non-life threatening injuries sustained by the man involved in the arrest were not serious enough to warrant notification of the Independent Investigations Office, B.C.’s police watchdog.
The Kelowna RCMP would like anyone that witnessed the arrest to contact them and provide a statement.
ORIGINAL 1:55 p.m.
Castanet is going live from the Kelowna RCMP Detachment as Supt. Brent Mundle will be speaking to media at 2 p.m. about the arrest incident where an officer's actions are being internally reviewed.
In a video obtained by Castanet, two officers are seen attempting an arrest when a third officer rushes to the scene and starts punching the 30-year-old suspect.
“I can confirm that this matter has been brought to our attention. A thorough internal review of this officer’s actions is currently underway,” states Supt. Brent Mundle, Officer-In-Charge of the Kelowna RCMP in a release on Monday.
The incident took place on Saturday evening in the 200-block of Bernard Avenue in Kelowna where officers responded to a suspicious vehicle that was reported in the parking lot.
After RCMP located the intoxicated man inside his vehicle he did not cooperate with police and was arrested for allegedly obstructing a police officer.