The Ontario police officer who was caught on video in February violently arresting a 20-year-old man on a skateboard—threatening to “light him up” with a taser—has been arrested and is facing criminal charges, according to a Barrie Police statement issued Thursday morning.
According to the statement, Barrie Police Constable Jason Stamp’s arrest and two assault charges follow an investigation conducted by the Ontario Provincial Police Professional Standards Unit. Barrie Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood requested the investigation after videos of the initial assault surfaced.
Stamp, a 46-year-old who has worked with Barrie Police for 18 years, has been suspended from work with pay.
“The images captured in the video are concerning to both the public and myself,” Greenwood said when the video first appeared.
The video detailed events from February 4 at about 3 p.m., and showed Stamp slamming Skyler Kent’s face into the ground in Barrie, a city 90 kilometres north of Toronto.
Kent had blown through a red light on his skateboard, according to CTV. After officers issued him a ticket, he rode away, but police flashed their lights on him again.
"I tried to keep going because I figured he can't pull me over twice in a row like that, and then he slams on the brakes after getting in front of me, and I ran into the back of him," Kent told CTV. That’s when the violent arrest took place, said Kent, who was later charged with assault with an attempt to resist arrest, as well as for causing a disturbance.
VICE World News previously reported that Stamp jammed a taser into Kent’s back and yelled, “You want this?” and “I’ll light you up.” Witnesses repeatedly pleaded for the officer to stop and the man, pinned to the street, screamed, “Get off of me!” A second officer eventually got involved and helped Stamp flip Kent before his face was slammed into the concrete.
A man dressed in a Canadian Broadcast Corporation-branded jacket also appeared to assist police in the video. It later turned out to be a CBC camera operator and volunteer auxiliary member of the Ontario Provincial Police. CBC spokesperson Chuck Thompson confirmed that the camera operator was an employee with the corporation, but didn’t comment further. "It would be premature for us to say anything more until we have thoroughly reviewed all aspects of the matter,” Thompson said last February.
Stamp was reassigned to “alternative duties” following the incident.
Following his arrest, he was released from custody and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Barrie on June 7. Barrie Police said they won’t make any more comments about the case.
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