Outside police agency to review how officers handled run-in with costumed worker

Outside police agency to review how officers handled run-in with costumed worker

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — An outside police agency is to investigate the actions of officers who forced a restaurant worker in a “Star Wars” storm-trooper costume to the ground in southern Alberta.

The 19-year-old employee, who had agreed to don the white uniform of a Galactic Empire soldier and carry a plastic gun, ended up with a bloody nose.

Lethbridge police said earlier this week that the costumed woman dropped the toy weapon, but didn’t get down on the ground when officers responding to a firearms call asked her to do so.

Brad Whalen said it should have been obvious that the getup was a way to get attention for his Star-Wars-themed restaurant on May 4 — a popular day with fans of the movie franchise because of the famous line: “May the force be with you.”

He also said the costume makes it difficult to hear and move.

Lethbridge police say it’s been determined that their investigation was “out of scope,” so it has been assigned to the Medicine Hat Police Service.

They say the woman, who was not charged, had a minor injury that did not require medical attention.

A video of the encounter, shared on social media, shows an officer standing by the toy blaster while Whalen yells from the restaurant door that it’s fake.

“Star Trek” actor William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in another mega-sci-fi movie and television franchise, tweeted boldly about his criticism of what happened.

“Captain’s Log Stardate 49: Sending my contempt this morning to the @lethpolice of Alberta, Canada & @LPSChief1. Rifles drawn for a plastic toy Cosplayer? Didn’t comply right away? Are you blind Chief? Watch the video to see how quickly she complied,” he posted Tuesday.

“This cannot be covered up.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2020

The Canadian Press


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer churches easing back into services

“To be able to do that again was just incredible”

Sylvan Lake man charged with child luring

A 38-year-old Sylvan Lake man has been charged with child luring. Sylvan… Continue reading

Spike in bike thefts prompts Red Deer RCMP warning

Nearly a dozen bikes reported stolen in Red Deer in last week

Huawei executive loses court ruling, extradition case continues

Judge says allegations against Meng Wanzhou could constitute a crime in Canada

Opinion: COVID-19 reveals folly of performance-based funding for universities

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the folly of performance-based funding schemes for… Continue reading

Michael Dawe: Great Depression teaches us the lessons of debt relief

There is a lot of wellfounded concern about the enormous, worldwide impact… Continue reading

Hunting Hills High School valedictorian hopes classmates find their own successes

At your typical high school graduation, hugs and handshakes are the norm,… Continue reading

Hong Kong is a train wreck I can’t bear to watch

“We are the meat on the chopping board,” said Martin Lee, founder… Continue reading

RDGCC named top 100 Callaway club fitter in North America

One local golf course is being recognized among the best on the… Continue reading

Non-binary athletes navigating Canadian sport with little policy help

Playing men’s and women’s hockey can feel like a minefield for Kat… Continue reading

Canadian international Vanessa Gilles signs new deal with France’s Bordeaux

Canadian international defender Vanessa Gilles has signed a contract extension with France’s… Continue reading

Most Read