We don't see what happened BEFORE the punch. What did the suspect do or say before the video was taken? The punch may be taken out of context.
Everyone say the police should be careful with their actions but things change when a tense situation like this arises. There is an adrenaline rush that causes people to lose control, no matter what training they have.
Perhaps people who criticize the police should follow in their footsteps.
I have not only followed in their footsteps, I have been in their shoes and there was no excuse for a sucker punch in those circumstances IMHO.
That is not one of the compliance techniques taught to VPD officers.
And as far as arrest technique that officer would get a fail. The first thing you are taught when handcuffing a suspect is to place the suspect off-balance while remaining balanced yourself. This is Restraint 101.
You instruct a suspect to take a wider than shoulder width stance, put the hands behind his/her back, palms out and thumbs up and have the suspect pull his/her shoulders back slightly towards you so that the suspect's shoulders are not in line with the hips and the weight is on transferred to the heels. Once the suspect is leaning back you have control.
Oh yeah and the stuff you see on TV having a suspect lean against a wall or car, nope... all you are doing is giving a suspect leverage to use against you. Another poor technique is to cuff a suspect who has his hands behind his head because with one quick movement by the suspect you are open to an elbow strike from either side.
Here is a report from the Vancouver Province on the incident.
A police officer is now on leave after he allegedly punched a man in the face during an arrest that was caught on video. Vancouver police have since launched an investigation into the matter.
Andishae Akhavan, 28, had just left a friend’s house and was headed home to Yaletown around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when an undercover VPD cruiser pulled up to him at the southbound corner of Beatty and Smithe. The two officers alleged he’d run a red light a few blocks earlier and told him they planned to issue him a ticket. Akhavan believes the intersection in question was the three-way stop on Beatty in front of the Terry Fox Memorial.
“They pulled up and talked to me ... and then decided to give me a ticket because I guess I didn’t say what they wanted me to say,” Akhavan told The Province.
He admits telling the two officers: “Don’t you have anything better to do? I’m only a block away from home” right before they exited the cruiser.
The Yaletown resident, who wasn’t wearing a helmet, said he was sober adding “there’s no way” he could have expected what happened next while he was being put in cuffs.
Akhavan said he was turning to speak to the arresting officer but instead, alleges he received a swift punch to the face.
The arrest was captured on video by Mike Schwarz, a friend of Akhavan’s who was driving by at the time.
“As I was at the light, I turned and recognized my friend. He was surrounded by two officers in fairly aggressive stances,” Schwarz told The Province, noting he then parked his car to check on his friend.
As Schwarz neared Akhavan on the northwest corner of Beatty and Smithe, the two officers began putting the man in cuffs. Schwarz pulled out his iPhone and hit the record button.
The video shows Akhavan asking a plain clothes officer, “What is this for?” The officer’s response is inaudible on the video but Akhavan can be seen moving his left arm to his side.
Suddenly, the man standing behind Akhavan reaches around with his left fist and strikes Akhavan’s left cheek.
“The officer didn’t see me. Within four seconds (of pushing record), he punched him in the face,” Schwarz said. He believes the officer, identified by Schwarz as “Officer Bhabha,” was unhappy with how Akhavan moved his arm while turning during the arrest.
“You can see his arms flinch but he’s never been arrested before. He didn’t know he was supposed to be perfectly limp,” he noted.
Akhavan was released an hour later on a promise to appear pending charge approval. He says he was issued a $170 ticket for running a red light on his bike. He said he was left with cuts on the inside and outside of his lip, and that his jaw and neck have been sore since being hit.
On Wednesday afternoon, Schwarz posted the video to Facebook where it has since been shared nearly 2,500 times, and amassed almost 1,200 comments.
Sgt. Randy Fincham confirmed the incident was reported by the officer to his supervisor shortly after, and that an investigation has been launched.
“The incident has also been reported to the Professional Standards Section of the Vancouver Police Department who will in turn notify the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner,” Fincham said in an email. “The officer is currently on weekly leave.”
Akhavan is considering talking to a lawyer.
“Fine, give me a ticket. But don’t punch me in the face,” Akhavan said, adding that while he has been pulled over before for not wearing a bike helmet, such stops have never escalated to a physical arrest.
“As mad or as hurt as I was, with blood dripping down, it was just a bit of a mix-up for no good reason.”