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Video shows police kneeing man during area arrest

'There was unjustified excessive force used,' says woman, who notes she witnessed the man's arrest, calling it 'police brutality'
OPP officers are shown arresting a man Friday in Midland.

(Editor's note: Some readers may find the content of this video distressing.)

A video appears to show police kneeing a man in the head/shoulder area several times during an arrest in Midland Friday.

During the three-minute video, two officers seem to have difficulty arresting a man following a report to police of a person's “bizarre behaviour."

According to a police report sent out Friday evening, Southern Georgian Bay OPP officers were alerted to a situation and attended the area of Hugel Avenue at Norene Street, where they were confronted by a man displaying visible signs of distress.

The release noted blood was visible on his clothing and he continued his erratic actions while police attempted to calm the situation. In the video, the man appears to be resisting arrest.

“Efforts by officers to communicate with the male were unsuccessful,” the report said, noting officers observed the man run onto the busy roadway and had concerns he would be struck by a vehicle.

Officers also employed a conducted energy weapon to “take control of the man for his own safety." He was immediately transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Police noted that “officers are still investigating this matter to determine the cause of the behaviour. More information will be released as it becomes available.”

A police spokesman declined to comment Saturday when asked about the video that appears to show the man resisting arrest.

But Kiara Parsons said the video shot by her mother Stephanie Hibberd shows evidence of “police brutality.”

“After the initial incident, the suspect ran along the sidewalk,” Parsons said. “The police officer had many opportunities to get out of his car to get to the subject. When they caught up to him again, he then did finally cross the street.”

After using the conducted energy weapon, “the officer had his knee on his back where at this point he should've been handcuffed by the two officers. Especially if he is a flight risk.”

Parsons, who said she witnessed the incident along with her mother and another person, noted the man’s resistance to being arrested is “all besides the point.”

“There was unjustified excessive force used,” she said. “Instead of handcuffing him the multiple times they could've, they instead bring him to his feet, where they then can't cuff him as he clearly is having a mental health episode saying he was scared.

“The one officer then proceeds to knee him in the face twice with excessive force. The suspect was significantly shorter and smaller than the two officers.

“They acted without a plan, unlawfully, without teamwork, and with unjustifiable excessive force.”

Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country‚Äôs most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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