The mother of a 15-year-old boy is filing a complaint to the RCMP after watching a video of her son allegedly getting punched in the head by an officer during an arrest at the Melfort Fair in Saskatchewan.
APTN News was sent a copy of a video, which appears to show an officer walking over to the teen, who’s lying on the ground underneath a set of bleachers, before swinging at his head twice.
On Monday, RCMP released a statement saying the 15-year-old boy from Tisdale, Sask. was arrested at the Melfort Fair on July 20 for wielding a fake firearm.
The teen cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
According to the release, an “altercation” took place between the teen and three “females.”
The 15-year-old was arrested and charged with several offences, including pointing a firearm, possessing a weapon for dangerous purpose and breach of probation. There were no shots fired and no injuries reported.
But the teen’s mother, who also cannot be named as it could identify the teen, said the boy “had a large red mark on his forehead from where the police officer punched him,” plus injuries from a fight with a girl.
She said her son was defending himself after the girl confronted him. Someone else showed up with a pellet gun and her son “took it from him.”
“Then the RCMP and other news made it sound as though my son was there to shoot up the exhibition,” she said.
The RCMP phoned her and she spoke with her son, who informed her that a police officer punched him.
“And then to actually see it on video made me sick to my stomach and the tears rolled down my face,” she said.
The original video is about a minute and a half long, but APTN trimmed it down to 15 seconds because the rest does not show much more of the arrest.
Her son was taken into custody and appeared in court on Monday.
According to a statement sent to APTN by the RCMP, the officers were dealing with a “significant public threat.”
“The situation was highly-fluid and the firearm had not yet been located,” the statement said. “Because the subject refused to comply with officers’ instructions, a determination was made to immediately effect an arrest utilizing an appropriate level of force to ensure public and officer safety.”
“As is the case with any such incidents, a Subject Behaviour/Officer Response (SB/OR) report is required. It will be reviewed internally to determine if the level of force used was appropriate.”
The mother said she has also filed a complaint against the officer in question with the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.
She said her son has had previous run-ins with the law, but that he has struggled with ADHD and had been seeking counselling.
“And all I want is the best for my son and to help him get better. He needs the help.”