CBC News Posted: Jul 8, 2013
VIDEO LINK with interview
Port Moody police say they are investigating an incident at the Golden Spike Pub after a video was posted on Facebook that appears to show an officer hitting or grabbing a man and throwing him to the ground.
The 18-second video clip of the incident was posted on Facebook, provoking allegations of excessive use of force.
Police say staff at the pub called 911 just after midnight Saturday, saying a man and a woman had been kicked out and the man was attempting to fight security staff.
“When officers arrived on scene they could hear the male and female yelling obscenities at the staff outside the pub. According to staff, both parties had been ejected from the pub for assaulting and threatening employees,” said a statement released by the department.
“An officer placed the 30-year-old Coquitlam male under arrest for intoxication in a public place and causing a disturbance. Despite multiple warnings, the male was uncooperative during the arrest and was subsequently taken to the ground.”
Police say both the man and woman were arrested, held overnight and released when they were sober.
Detained couple launch complaint
Herb Ramos, a local cameraman and navy reservist, came forward on Monday as the man in the video.
He and his girlfriend, Tracey Ferris, told CBC News they were leaving the Golden Spike Pub, where they were part of a large party celebrating a birthday.
Ferris, 23, said after they paid the bill, a number of bouncers started harassing her about her ID. She admitted that she began arguing back, and Ramos came to her defence.
The couple acknowledges they weren’t sober, but maintain the only people they argued with were the bouncers on their way out.
“We never threatened one staff member. We never had any sort of physical altercation with anyone in the entire bar,” Ferris said.
Ferris and Ramos also said the officers used unnecessary force, which left Ramos bruised, with a stiff neck, a bump on the back of his head and a mild concussion.
The Port Moody Police Department said Monday afternoon that it received notification that an official complaint was filed under the Police Act. It also said review of the incident is underway, and anyone with concerns over the conduct of the officers is encouraged to contact the department’s professional standards section.