For today’s installment of The Morning Roar we’ll be turning our attention towards some police abuse by our neighbors to the north. I don’t come across too many videos showing Canadian police officers abusing their power, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Likely, it’s because I’m not plugged into sources that follow these incidents. However, tonight a video was brought to my attention that shows a Vancouver police sergeant behaving like a crazed lunatic and smashing a motorist’s window during a traffic stop before pulling the man from his vehicle.
The incident occurred in November, but was leaked over the weekend. The driver of the vehicle, Bodhi Sattva, shrewdly recorded video of the event. The video shows a Vancouver police officer standing next to the driver’s side door and repeatedly demanding Mr. Sattva step out of the vehicle. Mr. Sattva can be heard politely asking the officer several times why he has been pulled over. At no point during the recording does the officer answer why he stopped the driver.
The video shows a Vancouver police officer standing next to a vehicle that has been pulled over, repeatedly demanding the driver, who identifies himself as Bodhi Sattva on YouTube, to “open the door.”
“Sir, why have you pulled me over?” the driver replies, refusing to comply with the officer’s order.
“I’m not playing this game,” the officer warns. “I’m gonna break the window now in two seconds.”
Before proceeding to smash the window and physically remove the driver, the officer can be heard telling his colleague that he can smell marijuana smoke coming from the vehicle.
Here’s the video, followed by my analysis.
Who was the officer protecting and serving during this incident?
He certainly was not protecting or serving the driver of the vehicle. In fact, Mr. Sattva has claimed that he was assaulted physically and has been traumatized by the experience. After watching the video, it’s not hard to imagine how someone could be traumatized by experiencing that type of violence being used against them. Mr. Sattva was also found to not have been under the influence of any alcohol or drugs at the time of the arrest.
According to the Vancouver Police Department, the driver was charged with “possession of a controlled substance, possession for the purposes of trafficking and obstructing a police officer,” CBC News reported.
Although not permitted to discuss the case, which is still before the courts, the police told the Vancouver news affiliate that drivers should just cooperate with the police under such circumstances.
Based on the facts that we have available, the police officer’s behavior was wildly inappropriate and downright dangerous. Even if Mr. Sattva did have a “controlled substance” in his possession, that fact alone does not justify the officer’s belligerent behavior or the violence he employed. Members of a civilized society cannot be expected to blindly summit to the whims of authority figures. Police officers and other government employees must be held accountable for their actions, especially when they blatantly infringe upon the rights of the individuals they are supposed to serve and protect.
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