Saturday, February 26, 2011

use-of-force by Ottawa Police

The police use-of-force debate is once again upon us.
I suspend any judgement on this right now--I don't know enough about the particulars of this specific incident for an opinion--so don't shoot the messenger.
As with any debate, there are always two sides, and most of us would just like to find the best answers.
An investigation is taking place by the Ottawa Police Service's Professional Standards Section following this incident in the Byward Market (downtown Ottawa). While law enforcement spokespersons are saying hard techniques are often required during an arrest, they plan to look at the specific incident closely after a video clip of the January arrest garnered much attention on Youtube.
"It's always difficult to make comment on a short video clip not knowing what the circumstances were," Staff Sgt. Michel Marin was quoted saying in the Ottawa Citizen.
A recently tabled Ottawa police report suggests physical force during arrests has tripled from 2009 to 2010.
Says use-of-force instructor Nick Mitilineos, "We don't use force on someone who is co-operating."

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