A man was violently arrested Sept. 1 while jubilant, smart-phone-toting Vancouver Whitecaps fans were heading out of B.C. Place Stadium after the victory over San Jose.
Video clips posted to the VWFC Fans and Supporters group on Facebook by Zach Copland, obtained by theBreaker, show a Vancouver Police officer dealing briefly with a male near a door on level two. A B.C. Place security guard was also on-scene. She briefly attempted to stop a person from shooting video of the incident. Several workers with security contractor Genesis were also nearby.
The video shows the police officer throwing the male to the floor, face down, and restraining his hands.
VPD spokesman Const. Jason Doucette said that a police officer came across a security staffer speaking with a man outside an exit door near sections 202-203. The security guard was trying to explain the stadium’s no-re-entry policy. “The man did not want to hear about the policy and continued to insist he had to get back in to meet up with his group,” Doucette told theBreaker.
The police officer took over to reiterate the stadium policy and, Doucette said, tried to call the man’s group to arrange a meeting place. The man refused to listen, Doucette said.
“He was cautioned at least three times that he had to leave the area because he was not allowed back in. Again, the man refused to comply so our officer took him by the arm to usher his away from the exit. The man began to actively resist the officer and was eventually arrested with the assistance of additional officers for breach of the peace,” Doucette said. “A taser was displayed by the lone officer during the confrontation, but he did not have to deploy it and no one was injured.”
The 36-year-old man was released a short time later at the stadium. Charges are not being recommended at this time.
On the Facebook group, a person who claimed to recognize the man said he was seen in the Curva Collective section earlier in the evening and was observed to be neither drunk nor belligerent. Another said he saw the person put his hand in the police officer’s face.
B.C. Place has deferred comment to the Vancouver Police.
Doucette said the goal is to not have to use physical force and that most times speaking with a person will de-escalate a situation peacefully. “We will use only as much force necessary to gain control of a subject,” he said.
UPDATE (Sept. 20): theBreaker sought a copy of the incident report and related surveillance video under the freedom of information law. However, PavCo responded Sept. 19 to say that it is withholding those records because “there is an active and ongoing investigation by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.” PavCo fears disclosing the footage at this time would compromise that investigation, but it vowed to revisit the decision after the investigation is concluded.
OPCC director of operations and strategic initiatives Andrea Spindler refused to comment.
Warning: video contains profanity.
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