A former university football player is claiming he was racially profiled by Vancouver police when he was stopped for jaywalking, arrested, and Tasered during the altercation.
Jamiel Moore-Williams told CTV Vancouver that he was crossing the street against the light on the Granville Strip early Sunday morning to avoid a stranger throwing rocks at passersby when police stopped him for jaywalking.
The 6’4”, 250-pound, former defensive end for the UBC Thunderbirds can be seen on cellphone video captured by a friend questioning the officers.
“Because I’m black crossing the street,” Moore-Williams can be heard telling the police in the video.
The situation escalates when multiple officers are then shown pulling the 22-year-old former football player to the ground. One officer fires a Taser at Moore-Williams at least three times according to the footage.
Moore-Williams was taken to hospital and spent most of the day in custody on Sunday. He said he’s angry about what happened.
“I’m a big black male crossing the street and they [the police officers] acted out of fear rather than doing their job. What are they scared of?” Moore-Williams said on Monday.
The Vancouver Police Department denied the former football player was stopped because of his race and told CTV Vancouver in a statement that it was because he jaywalked in front of a marked police car.
“Our officers honked their horn to get the man’s attention. The man turned, looked directly at the marked police car, raised both hands and middle-fingered the police officers,” the statement said.
Police said the man refused to identify himself and he became “increasingly argumentative.”
Moore-Williams was given a ticket for jaywalking and charged with obstruction of justice.
None of the charges have been tested in court.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Jon Woodward