SEVERAL Vancouver Police officers were assaulted in the Downtown Eastside on Tuesday afternoon following the arrest of a man causing a disturbance at the Carnegie Centre.
Officers were called by Carnegie Centre staff just before 3 p.m. for a man throwing computers and behaving erratically. As officers were taking him into custody, the man resisted arrest and fought with police.
A large crowd gathered, and became hostile and combative with the officers. Several police officers were assaulted. Multiple arrests were made.
VPD officers were in the area at the request of the City of Vancouver to stand by and keep the peace while City workers conducted their information campaign into the tent and structure removal on Hastings Street.
THE “Our Streets” organization in a statement at around 7:20 p.m. on the incident said:
“At around 2 p.m., CEWs [City Engineering Workers] and VFRS representatives began to pack up and leave the scene, while the VPD presence continued. Around this time, a passerby entered the scene, behaving erratically, but not posing any threat to people in the area. Supporters and block residents conversed with this person to deescalate the situation. Around 2:30 p.m., CEWs left the scene and were replaced in presence with VPD officers to surveil the crowd. Supporters were then asked by residents to leave in order to give them some space, and promptly did so. A group of Our Streets members and supporters proceeded to walk down the sidewalk on East Hastings Street towards Carnegie, arriving there around 2:45 p.m. At this time, the passerby who had been behaving erratically caused a disturbance in front of Carnegie, again, without posing any serious threat to bystanders. Private security at Carnegie signaled to the large group of VPD officers, who proceeded to escalate the situation by physically restraining and roughly detaining the man by “hog-tying him” by bounding his feet and hands, while a growing crowd filmed the incident and yelled to express their anger at what they were witnessing. The man was carried back to the paddy wagon. At this point, a woman in the crowd of bystanders allegedly threw a light object in the direction of a VPD officer. Police quickly tackled and arrested her, and a confrontation between police and bystanders ensued. VPD constables were pushing and shoving bystanders, pulling people from the crowd and deployed pepper spray. Supporters who were walking by and not involved in the initial incident were violently grabbed by police and thrown to the ground, with one person having their head slammed on the pavement. Other members of the crowd then intervened, and five arrests were made, including three members of the Our Streets team. A massive police presence assembled at the intersection of Main and Hastings, blocking off the intersection with a line of officers. The arrested individuals were taken to the VPD station at 238 East Cordova Street, followed closely by a support team who will remain there until release.”