Edmonton Police released the full video of the officer hitting the woman on the ground IG News

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A week after a police officer slammed a woman to the ground in Central Edmonton, who is accused of wielding a knife, a full video of the incident was played at a police commission meeting on Thursday afternoon.

A short clip that circulated on social media last Friday went viral and sparked outrage.

Soon after, police spokeswoman Cheryl Voordenhout said the video captured the police’s response to a weapons complaint in the area of ​​100th Street and 106th Avenue. Wooderhout said in a statement that the woman had a knife and that “to push her to the ground would require the least amount of force to allow her to safely apprehend the suspect.”

A long video compilation recorded from CCTV shows that the woman who was pushed had a knife and was seen threatening another woman as she pulled over the police car.

Acting Police Chief Devin LaForce said, “I definitely saw the exchange between him and the other person.”

“I saw him pull the knife out of his waistband. He stole it on the back of his arm. It looked like an incident that was going to get very dangerous very quickly.”

LaForce told members of the police commission that he believed the officer’s action was justified.

“Such situations are dynamic and require officers to take different decisions. We don’t have a problem with our officer’s actions here,” he said.

An officer who taught the tactics of the use of force told members of the police commission that officer training does not involve using hand-to-hand tactics with someone who has a knife.

“The officer needs to defend himself,” Staff Sgt. Joe Tassone said. “Make some distance.”

But Tasone said officers are also taught to use sound judgment and take advantage of the situation when they react.

“There was the ability to end a confrontation and take control of the situation as the subject’s attention was taken away for a moment, which gave that member the ability to take that opportunity,” he said.

In the video, two women are seen circling each other in the middle of the road as police pull the cruiser up. As the officer is getting out of his vehicle, the suspect overtakes.

It takes about six seconds for the officer to open his door, until he knocks it to the ground from behind, then handcuffs him.

Experts disagree on best approach

The University of Alberta criminologist said he is even more upset now that he has seen the extended video.

“In my opinion, this is a good example of how not to react,” Temitope Oriola said.

“There is no indication in that video that there is any sort of actual conversation – any verbal conversation – between the officer and the woman,” “I believe a more humane approach was needed. There was no immediate danger.”

The knife was confiscated by the Edmonton Police Service last Thursday after an officer slammed a woman to the ground. (Edmonton Police Service)

Oriola feels that the woman with the knife should have been given a chance to respond before she was pushed to the ground.

Justice Studies of Mount Royal University Prof. Doug King vehemently disagreed.

“The officer in question used really excellent judgment,” King said. “If that guy with the knife turned around and started charging the officer, what was the distance? Maybe ten meters, and that wouldn’t be enough time for the officer to defend himself.”

Police said the suspect was intoxicated and no charges would be filed.

Before the video was played, the use of force report for the first two quarters of 2022 was presented to the members of the Police Commission.

This shows that there were 1,522 incidents of police use of force in the first half of this year, a seven per cent increase from the 1,429 incidents reported in 2021.

Two-thirds of the reported incidents involved level one, or more modest use of force, with about one-third being considered category two, involving increased use of force.

Police said the push to the ground was classified as a Category Two use of force.

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