(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Saturday evening an incident unfolded in the city’s north end that appeared to include a Thunder Bay Police Service officer strike an intoxicated youth.
We have since been contacted by the person who took the video, and have more details surrounding the incident.
Our contact, wishes to keep their name out of the media, and we will respect that.
HIS VERSION OF THE EVENTS
The cameraman, an adult. Tells us that him along with others were hanging out when a person fell and banged their head.
They dialled 911 to get the person some assistance. Police and paramedics both arrived at the same time.
Upon arrival, police seem to have got suspicious of the cameraman, and asked to search his person, he allowed it.
He tells us that the police were a bit rough when handling him during the search, including pushing him up against a wall.
A second ambulance was called immediately as paramedics and police found a youth sitting in a chair intoxicated. The youth did not want to leave but was forced out the building.
After the cameraman was searched by police for weapons, he went outside to see what was happening with the youth. That is when the now infamous video happened.
Noted was that he believes the youth on the guerney was only struck once, but that he did see blood in her mouth after that. She was hit pretty hard and was crying afterwards according to him.
After the camera stopped rolling, the youth was put in to the ambulance and taken to the hospital.
At this point, the camera man tells us that the female officer in the video left eyeshot entirely. A male police officer then grabbed the cameraman’s phone out of his hand, he tells us.
The cameraman is clearly not consenting to this, and upon questioning it, he is told his phone was “seized”, according to him.
A call to the Officers Sargent was demanded. The Sargent arrived roughly 15 minutes later, and spoke to the officer that “seized” the phone for several minutes in private.
The phone was returned to the cameraman shortly after. The officer had a brief discussion with him about the search of his person.
He tells us that the officer told him when he is asked to take his hands out of his pockets, that he needs to do it. What the cameraman tells us is that he was cooperative with police 100%, and took his hands out of his pockets immediately when requested to.
The video was shown to the police officer, in which he had no comments for.
The cameraman, when asked, said he does experience racism in Thunder Bay “all the time”, but he does not feel this situation was racially motivated.
He tells us that he and his friends called 911 for one reason, and it was to help the girl that initially fell.
Someone claiming to be the youth made these statements on Facebook:
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Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.