Kelowna RCMP launches review after video appears to show cop punching suspect

The Kelowna RCMP says it is undertaking a “thorough internal review” in the wake of a video appearing to show a police officer punching a man during an arrest.

However, the officer in charge of the detachment, Supt. Brent Mundle, emphasized that the short video of the incident, which occurred downtown on Saturday, only shows part of what transpired.

“It does not include what precipitated the situation where the officer felt the physical force seen in the video was necessary,” Mundle said in a statement.

“Our officers are trained to conduct a continual risk assessment of the situation. Often these decisions are required in a split second.”

According to police, the events began when the RCMP received a report of a “suspicious vehicle with an alleged impaired driver” in a parking lot near Bernard Avenue.

Officers said they arrived to find a 30-year-old Kelowna man inside a vehicle, allegedly intoxicated and uncooperative.

In the video, which has not been verified by Global News, two officers appear to be on either side of the man, with one officer appearing to have his arm around the man’s neck.

There’s some commotion among the three, and then a third officer runs up and appears to repeatedly punch the man.

Police said the third officer responded after his colleagues requested immediate backup.

They arrested the man “after a brief struggle,” police said, on allegations of obstructing an officer.

“The man actively resisted and allegedly turned assaultive toward the RCMP officers by pulling away, raising clenched fists, and refusing to cooperate with commands that were given to him,” spokesperson Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy said in a statement.

Kelowna RCMP is expected to make further comment on Tuesday.

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