The Vancouver police officers who repeatedly Tasered a former university football player during a stop for jaywalking are under investigation for their conduct that night.
Jamiel Moore-Williams, 22, was walking along the Granville Strip after a night out with friends in early February. At the time, he told CTV Vancouver that he had crossed the street, against the light, to avoid a stranger throwing rocks at passersby. That’s when he was stopped by police.
In cellphone video recorded by one of his friends, Moore-Williams can be seen offering his identification to the officers before they pull him to the ground and Taser him multiple times.
The Vancouver Police Department claimed Moore-Williams became “increasingly argumentative” during the altercation and that he tried to put one of the officers into a headlock. The department also said the fitness trainer and former defensive end for the UBC Thunderbirds gave officers the middle finger when he jaywalked in front of them.
However, B.C.’s police complaint commissioner has questioned the department’s account of events and ordered an investigation under the Police Act. Deputy Police Complaint Commissioner Rollie Woods told CTV Vancouver that the officers’ explanation doesn’t align with the cellphone video of the incident.
“It’s alleged that he choked one of the officers, that’s not evident in the video we saw, so if there is more video we’d like to see it,” Woods said.
Donna Turko, Moore-Williams’ lawyer, said that’s the only video of the arrest she’s aware of at this time.
Woods said that his office has also asked the RCMP to see if there was any excessive use of force during the takedown. The Vancouver police are also conducting an internal investigation into the case.
Moore-Williams is fighting two counts of obstruction of justice and a ticket for jaywalking, his lawyer said.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Jon Woodward