Waterloo Regional Police receive backlash for alleged excessive force during arrest on Black teen

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A 15 year-old Black teenager is seen being held to the ground by three Waterloo Regional Police officers, in a video that is now circulating online. 

The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) has issued a statement on Instagram regarding the arrest, made in the area of Fairway Road South on Oct. 3.

In the statement, WRPS alleged that the officers were responding to a trespassing report from Fairview Park Mall security when the boy refused to leave, uttered threats and spat at them. 

“The male then ran from police and a short foot pursuit ensued. The male was arrested a short distance away,” the statement read. 

The officers are facing criticism from community members, friends and family for excessive force as well as their lack of face masks during the arrest. 

In the video, the three officers are seen pinning him to the ground on his neck, back and legs, and lifting him up via his pants and the neck of his sweater after he is handcuffed.

“How an officer can be so careless as to not only go around maskless but yell at people and even rip off the boy’s mask and throw it to the ground. So people don’t have the right to protect themselves from Covid just because they’re under arrest?” read a reply under WRPS’ Tweet.

“Is it not the protocol for during an arrest to use as little force as necessary? I’d like to draw attention [to] the moment where the officer uses the full weight of his body – with no other point of contact except the arrestees neck to get up,” read a reply under WRPS’ Instagram statement. 

WRPS has stated that the investigation on this arrest remains ongoing. 

“Any witnesses or anyone with video of the incident are asked to call police or @WaterlooCrime,” read the statements on both Instagram and Twitter

This incident follows another incident that went viral this summer, where WRPS officers are accused of using excessive force on a Black individual at a Kitchener gas station. This investigation remains ongoing.

Updates to come.

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