Newfoundland and Labrador's Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT-NL) has launched an investigation after a video showed police officers pushing a man into the side of a police cruiser at Stephenville Dymond International Airport last Wednesday.
The man was on board a Delta Airlines flight from Paris to Detroit when it had to make an emergency landing for what the airline called an unruly passenger.
Video taken from outside the airport's chain-link fence shows three officers escorting him down the stairs from the plane to the tarmac where an RCMP cruiser is waiting.
As they get close to the cruiser, the man begins leaning back and slowing down. The officers on either side of him pull him forward, with the officer to his left pushing the man's head and upper body into the side of the cruiser. The same officer repeated similar motions three more times with the man hitting up against the car.
SIRT-NL director Michael King said the RCMP notified his office on June 7 that a "potential serious incident" happened during the arrest. King couldn't comment on whether the incident he's investigating is the sequence in the video, or anything that happened before or after.
While details are sparse, SIRT defines a serious incident as "those involving serious injury, death, sexual offence, domestic violence or any matter of significant public interest arising from the actions of a police officer in Newfoundland and Labrador."
The man has been charged with unlawfully engaging in behaviour that endangers safety by interfering with duty of crew and unlawfully engaging in behaviour that endangers safety by lessening ability of crew to perform duty. He's due in court on Friday.