This security camera video shows VPD members in arrest of Ali Eltah Ishag
Not sure what to make of this one. The video supplied by our friends down at Megaphone magazine is potentially incriminating, and no doubt it will force a response from Mayor Robertson to have Chief Jim Chu hold an investigation. The video (which has an annoying audio tone, so turn down your computer speakers) shows Ali Eltah Ishag being visited by 2 VPD members on a Downtown Eastside street corner. They walk up to him calmly, and within 3 seconds one of the officers begins having, er, some serious knee spasms that force him to kick Ishag several times.
The reputed account of what happened is supplied by Megaphone's Sean Condon:
Video footage obtained and released by Megaphone shows two Vancouver police officers repeatedly kneeing and kicking a Downtown Eastside homeless man without provocation. The homeless man was then charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm the officer.
On the morning of Saturday, June 26, two officers approached Ali Eltah Ishag, a 47-year-old Sudanese refugee who is homeless, at the corner of Carrall and East Hastings outside the Megaphone office.
The video shows that after briefly speaking to Ishag, the officers grab his arms and immediately begin to knee and kick Ishag’s legs and mid-section. Ishag attempts to defend himself against the officers, who throw him against the wall and continue to knee him. The three then struggle as they move eastwards along Hastings.
In total, the two officers administer at least nine knee and leg kicks on Ishag in the video.
Read the full story about the arrest, Ishag and eyewitness accounts and the Vancouver police's response on the Megaphone blog.
What appears to be happening is that Ishag is not being responsive to the VPD member, although it's open to debate as to whether the swift timing of the take down was appropriate. It appears that Ishag has his hands in his pockets, which might have concealed something forcing the quicker response. Undoubtedly it will be analyzed by several parties.
I'm sure we'll be getting several versions of the events from lots of stakeholders, including what happened just prior and after the video in the days to come.
UPDATE: One of our commenters says Ishag had a prior for resisting arrest. We still need to confirm this.
UPDATE #2: The BC Civil Liberties Association has now filed a complaint against the VPD for what they describe as a "misleading" press release regarding the Ishag arrest.
- post by Mike