Toronto police under fire again after video shows violent takedown

Toronto police punch and kick a man captured during an arrest in a residential back yard.

Another day, another video of a seemingly overzealous arrest at the hands of Toronto police. It appears Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit will get involved after a shooting suspect was sent to hospital after being injured in an arrest near Bloor and Sherbourne Streets on Tuesday.

According to reports, two men fled the scene via car after a young man was shot in the leg. Police pursued the vehicle and arrested one suspect following a crash. The other suspect was arrested after a brief foot chase.

Video of the arrest obtained by CTV Toronto appears to show as many as three officers swarming the suspect during an arrest in a residential back yard.

One officer is seen striking a person on the ground several times, before another officer hops the fence and kicks the target. The suspect was later taken to hospital.

The video, provided exclusively to the network, is available here.

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The unnamed witness who shot the video told CTV Toronto the suspect appeared to be resisting arrest before the incident. Another witness, Jane Nylan, told Global News that the violent arrest was not what you would expect from "people that are upholding the law."

Ontario's Special Investigation Unit did not immediately confirm they were investigating the arrest. The unit’s mandate is to look into "reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault."

A Toronto Police Service constable has been charged with second-degree murder following a separate SIU investigation into the shooting death of Sammy Yatim on board a downtown streetcar earlier this year.

The incident was captured on video and released online by a number of witnesses, prompting vows of transparency and internal reviews by Chief Bill Blair, as well as the provincial ombudsman.

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Video captured during the 2010 G20 Summit also recently led to the assault conviction of a Toronto police officer found to have acted overzealously during an arrest.

With the use of private video devices becoming more prevalent, police forces are finding themselves more frequently recorded in the line of action. Those videos, however, capture only part of the story.

In this case, the video seems violent, deadly and heavy-handed. We deserve to see the rest of the picture.

(CTV screengrab)

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