The Chief of the Thunder Bay police service says a female officer who was filmed yelling, and then pushing down on a patient strapped to an ambulance gurney is “off duty.”
Sylvie Hauth says the officer, who has not been named, is also being investigated.
According to a release from police, officers received a call at 7:25 pm e.t.
“While on scene, an intoxicated 17-year-old female was located inside the residence. While being readied for transport to hospital, a female Uniform Patrol officer is seen to be in physical contact with the youth,” said the release.
Hauth says the officer has been informed that an investigation is taking place.
The 21-second video starts from the outside steps of an apartment building where a paramedic and officer are responding to a person who is laying on a stretcher, wrapped in blankets.
“I don’t know why she decided to start being combative here,” the officer is heard saying at the beginning of the video. The officer’s leg is visible standing next to the gurney.
“F**k you,” the teenager can be heard replying back.
“You’re just going to the hospital, you’re going to the hospital,” she says to the young girl, who is 17-years-old according to Latisha Hardy, who posted the video to her Facebook account.
Then things turn angry.
“That’s enough. Do not spit on me,” the officer can be heard yelling immediately after what looks and sounds to be a hard slap to the head 13 seconds into the video.
“You do not spit on me,” the officer continues to yell as her right hand covers the victim’s mouth, pushing down with force.
Nishnawbe Aski Nation confirmed the teen is from Nibinimik First Nation and student of the Matawa Learning Centre.
The person who recorded the video wants to remain anonymous.
That’s when the video, which is pointed towards the ground, pans up just in time to see the officer strike the young woman.
“We are outraged by the actions of the officer depicted in this video. We do not know all of the details that led to this incident, but there is simply no justification for such violent and callous treatment of a youth in a defenseless position,” said NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler in a press release. “Such actions by the police, whatever the cause, must be fully independent authority and the results made public by the Chief of Police.”
Hardy told APTN News police had been called to a party on the city’s north side on Saturday around 6 p.m. because someone was bleeding and needed medical attention.
They said first responders were taking the teenager in the video to the hospital because she was too intoxicated.
APTN was told the officer hit her so hard she started to bleed and the young girl was taken to hospital. She has since been released.
“She’s doing good right now, she said she has anxiety about this whole thing,” Hardy said.
Thunder Bay police did not return calls to explain what the term “off duty” meant.
Police have not said where the province’s special investigations unit has been informed of the incident.