Alberta's police watchdog to review video appearing to show violent RCMP arrest
EDMONTON -- Warning: This story contains graphic content.
A man who has no memory of being taken down by an RCMP member Tuesday evening winced when he saw video of his own bloody arrest.
The man, Mike, lives in Sherwood Park's Emerald Hills Apartments. Video of his arrest, which appeared to leave him bloodied and unconscious, is being reviewed by Sherwood Park's mayor, Alberta RCMP and ASIRT, the province's police watchdog.
The video was originally posted to Reddit and is now being widely shared over social media. It shows what appears to be a confrontation or discussion between Mike and two other people in the parking lot of the Sherwood Park condo complex on Clover Bar Road.
About one minute into the video, an RCMP officer arrives, appears to address the two people and then call out to Mike by name.
The officer then appears to take the man's arm, and they stand together for several moments while the man continues to talk to the other people.
It is then that the officer appears to prop one leg behind the man's legs and pulls him backwards to the ground.
A loud groan can be heard as Mike thuds onto the sidewalk, and as the officer pulls the man's hands behind his back, an unknown bystander gasps, "Oh my God, he's bleeding. Hey, he's bleeding."
As the officer turns Mike over, appearing again to say his name, what looks like a pool of blood can be seen beneath the man's head. The Mountie pulls the man into recovery position, checks the time on his watch, and says something unintelligible to the bystander.
In a news release issued Wednesday afternoon, Strathcona County RCMP said they and firefighters were initially called to the building for a report of an apartment fire at around 6:15 p.m. The fire was extinguished but police said they could not locate the homeowner at the time.
Just over an hour later, police said they were called to a coffeehouse for a report of an intoxicated man chasing a vehicle. Another video posted to Facebook purports to show the intoxicated man getting into a heated confrontation with staff at the business.
Police asked him to leave and say the man returned to his apartment, where the fire occurred, and got into a confrontation with other tenants and a firefighter.
The man then allegedly assaulted the firefighter, RCMP said, and that's when the confrontation with the Mountie occurred.
" The responding officer went to place the man under arrest during which the male was taken to the ground and as a result suffered an injury," Mounties said. "EMS was immediately dispatched and the male was taken to hospital and has subsequently been released."
Speaking to CTV News Edmonton the next day, Mike winced and turned away from the video upon watching it for the first time. He said he had no memory of the event.
A large bruise covered the upper right side of his face.
He said he struggles with alcoholism and had been drinking the previous day. He could not recall being taken down by police, and did not know there was video of it.
"Basically not a whole lot,” is what he told media he remembered.
"I’m trying to deal with some personal problems and alcoholism and I know that I haven’t probably shown due respect that’s due to Skyline Living, and I’m hoping that everything’s going to work out OK. Other than that I don’t have much more to say other than alcohol abuse is a bad thing.”
On social media channels, the video has largely been criticized by the public as excessive.
Alberta RCMP said it was reviewing the incident and the officer's duty status. RCMP directed questions from the media to ASIRT, which will probe the circumstances surrounding police's actions.
Strathcona County Mayor Rod Frank tweeted Wednesday that the county was aware of the video and said he was in touch with Chief Commissioner Darrell Reid to gather facts on the incident.