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Man charged following arrest captured on video; outside police agency to investigate

Barrie man, 20, has been charged with causing a disturbance and assault with attempt to resist arrest

Editor's note: The video contains graphic content and language which may be unsuitable for some readers. 

A violent incident between a Barrie police officer and a 20-year-old man on Thursday will be investigated by an outside police service. City police have also announced today the man has been charged.

Videos began circulating online Thursday afternoon showing officers arresting a man on Dunlop Street East near the intersection of Owen Street, in front of Meridian Place.

A 20-year-old Barrie man has been charged with causing a disturbance and assault with attempt to resist arrest. He was released on a promise to appear in court and an undertaking. Police declined to release his name. 

Barrie Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood issued a statement saying, “The images captured in the video are concerning to both the public and myself.”

At one point in one of the videos obtained by BarrieToday, the officer flips the man over and strikes him in the back of his head.

Another video shows the officer on top of the man with a taser to his neck. The officer asks, “Do you want this?” followed by “Put your hands behind your back right now or I’m lighting you up.”

Bystanders can be heard asking the man to stop resisting, as well as telling the officer involved and those approaching that it was excessive force.

Greenwood has asked an outside police service to conduct an independent investigation into the events leading up to the arrest and the conduct of the officer, who has been reassigned to alternative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

The Barrie Police Service says it will announce those details and provide the investigating agency’s contact information for anyone who witnessed the incident.

Barrie police communications co-ordinator Peter Leon told BarrieToday the name of the man charged could not be released. As the “incident is now the subject of an investigation by another police service, we are not able to provide the name," he said. 

Leon also said the incident is being investigated by an outside police service as it does not fall under the mandate of the Special Investigation Unit (SIU).

Leon told BarrieToday “no injuries (were) sustained requiring hospital treatment" during the man's arrest. 

SIU spokesperson Monica Hudon told BarrieToday the SIU is not investigating. The majority of the time, the involved police service notifies the SIU of incidents if there has been a serious injury.

“All police services in Ontario are legally obligated to immediately notify the SIU of incidents death or serious injury, including allegations of sexual assault, involving their officers,” said Hudon. “However, calls from police are not the only way the SIU can be notified. In fact, anyone can contact the Special Investigations Unit about an incident that falls within its mandate.

"With respect to cases where someone was injured, our mandate would be invoked in cases where the person was seriously injured," she added. 

Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based in Barrie
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