Warning: Story and video contain disturbing details.
Red Deer RCMP is facing online criticism in the wake of a traffic stop that turned aggressive last week.
In a five-minute and 28-second video posted to YouTube recently, a Red Deer RCMP officer is shown trying to arrest a man who is resisting beside his family vehicle outside the Flying J convenience store on 67 St.
The video of the Feb. 16 incident, as confirmed by the RCMP, has nearly 50,000 views on YouTube.
As the video continues, more officers arrive and eventually five officers are needed to subdue the individual and place him under arrest. Officers can be seen elbowing and hitting the man repeatedly to get him on the ground.
YouTube user Ashlyn Johnson, who posted the video, claims the incident started after a police officer drove by them at a high rate of speed on 67 St.
In a description posted along with the video, Johnson, who was driving with her fiancé, indicated that the couple asked the officer why he was speeding without his lights on – when both vehicles came to a stop at a red light.
In a statement to the Advocate, RCMP said the officer was speeding because he was responding to a request for assistance at a high-risk call.
“When he was informed over police radio he was no longer needed, the officer resumed normal speed, and stopped at a red light. This is when the interaction between the occupants of the vehicle and the officer began.”
After the interaction at the traffic lights on 67 St. with the couple in their vehicle, the officer proceeded to pull them over, police said.
“The officer queried the vehicle’s licence plate and attempted a traffic stop to confirm the registered owner,” according to a statement from RCMP Insp. Holly Glassford.
“As the two individuals failed to comply with the officer’s orders several times throughout the course of the investigation, the officer informs the male and female that they are being arrested for obstruction.”
In the video’s description, Johnson states she chose not to pull over until she reached the gas station to get fuel. She started filming after they got out of the car near the gas pump, as her fiancé was being placed in handcuffs by the officer.
The video appears to end while Johnson is being placed under arrest by an officer.
Only one of the arresting officers is wearing a mask in the video.
In an additional statement, city officials said “officers take the precaution of wearing PPE during interactions with the public, however, there are instances where the events that are occurring impede their ability to do so.”
RCMP officials said the investigation continues but that upon an “internal review, it was determined that the officer acted within the scope of his duties, investigating under the Traffic Safety Act.”
As the investigation is ongoing, the City of Red Deer is not available for comment.