Credit: CTV NEWS - Laurie Herve
The officers were responding to a complaint from one of the party organizers who asked for help in dispersing the crowd. When RCMP began trying to clear the crowd, an intoxicated man refused to leave and became aggressive, RCMP said. Two of the officers focused on arresting the man, while the third controlled the crowd that had gathered.
The man, 21-year-old Richard Claybert, says it started when RCMP told the crowd they had to leave the area. Claybert had been at the birthday party and was planning to sleep in the camper attached to his pickup truck in the parking lot. He says RCMP told him he would have to find another way home and that truck would be towed and impounded.
"I got kind of frustrated, so I turned away to walk away from it," said Claybert, who is hearing
impaired. "And apparently the cop said as I was walking away that I was under arrest. I didn't hear anything and my friends said they didn't hear anything either."
Claybert says when he turned around again, he was pepper sprayed in the face. He was also hit with a police baton on the back of his leg. Claybert continued to argue with the officers before he gave in, he said Tuesday.
"Finally I just kind of got frustrated and wanted it to end, so I got down on my stomach and put my
hands behind my back," he said.
The 54-second video, uploaded to YouTube on Sunday, begins when Claybert is already on the ground with his hands behind his back. Two RCMP officers are kneeling next to Claybert, who is lying on his stomach in front of a red pickup truck. The officers were attempting to arrest Claybert for causing a disturbance, but RCMP said he wouldn't comply with their demands and continued to act aggressively.
A crowd of onlookers shout at the officers as they try to place Claybert under arrest.
"Officer, what's your name?" shouts one person. "What's your badge number?" another shouts. Others in the crowd swear, jeer and heckle the officers.
About halfway through the video, Claybert turns his head toward the officers and shouts something that can't be fully deciphered.
One of the officers then brings his leg forward and kicks Claybert in the face, eliciting a loud reaction from the crowd of onlookers. The officer then kicks him again.
"Who else wants to get arrested," a third officer asks the crowd. The video ends with Claybert being taken away in handcuffs.
RCMP say they didn't know Claybert was hearing impaired, but that he continued to struggle even while he was on the ground.
Claybert said he suffered bruises to his face, the back of his leg and a rib. He said he is facing charges for public intoxication and resisting arrest and was released the following morning. He is slated to appear in Cold Lake provincial court on October 24.
The officer in question is currently on leave and will be assigned to administrative duties when he returns to work, RCMP said.
While a public complaint hasn't been filed, Claybert said he is glad the officer is being investigated.
"I think that's the right thing to do," he said. He plans to consult with a lawyer before deciding whether to file a complaint.
|Liveleak on Facebook|