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Friday, September 24, 2021

OPP to investigate violent arrest captured on video in Barrie, Ont.

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BARRIE, ONT. —
The Ontario Provincial Police will investigate the arrest of a 20-year-old man in the city’s downtown that was caught on video and quickly circulated on social media on Thursday.

“In an effort to ensure the process is transparent and accountable, I have asked the Ontario Provincial Police to conduct the investigation into the events that took place in Barrie on February 4,” said Barrie Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood.

In the video, the officer struggles with the man on the ground and holds what appears to be a stun gun while threatening to “light [him] up.”

The cellphone video, recorded by a bystander, shows the officer hitting the man on the head with the device as he continues to hold him to the ground.

The video does not show what happened leading up to the arrest.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman tweeted on Thursday night that he watched the “violent arrest” video and that he “won’t be ignoring this.”

Lehman added, “there will be full accountability.”

On Friday, Barrie Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood said the video is concerning “to both the public and myself.”

Barrie police said the officer involved had been reassigned to “alternate duties pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Police charged the 20-year-old with causing a disturbance and assault with an attempt to resist arrest. He was released with a promise to appear and an undertaking.

With files from The Canadian Press

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