COQUITLAM RCMP say it’s perfectly fine to record video of a police arrest from a safe distance, but they are asking that witnesses to an early morning arrest on Wednesday share their video with police so that it can be part of a complete and impartial investigation.
At 12:32 a.m. on July 8, police arrived at a home in the 1100-block of Inlet Street, Coquitlam, to speak to the registered owner of a badly-damaged grey Mazda 3. Several concerned neighbours had reported that the car had driven through a yard and hit parked cars.
When police announced themselves at the home, a 31-year-old Coquitlam man came out holding blunt objects including a large hammer. The man immediately challenged police, and a Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) was used but it was only partially effective. In the ensuing altercation, the man allegedly threw the hammer and struck a police officer. The officer was taken to hospital for minor injuries and is expected to make a full recovery. The suspect was not seriously hurt.
Police say they have spoken to as many witnesses as possible, but have not yet located two people who were driving by and may have taken cell phone video.
“When you take video you’re still the ‘owner’ and you can do what you wish with the copies,” said Cpl. Michael McLaughlin. “But it’s important that we get the original, unaltered video. Collecting the best evidence is always our priority, but it’s extra important right now because police are being questioned more than ever about our use of force.”
If you have any evidence that showed the events leading up to this arrest, or any other use-of-force case that you think is important, call the Coquitlam RCMP non-emergency number at 604-945-1550. The file number for the arrest on Wednesday is 2020-17740.