Calgary Police brutality on Stephen Ave.

Last night, the Square Waves played to a small crowd of Calgarians (30 in total?) who happened to be at the Broken City on a Thursday night, right between two major concerts (Bright Eyes the day before and Modest Mouse the day after). Far be it to be a judge of my own performance, but it felt right while I was playing, and I was told that we sounded good. I am happy with it.

Still sitting with me is a horrifying event that took place before the show. Ryan and Patrick and myself were going to eat after we checked into the hotel. While walking down Stephen Ave. downtown Calgary, we walk right past two police officers talking to this man. I am not sure exactly what went on, the reason why they were talking to him (etc.), so lets make that clear.

As we were walking past, one of the cops THROWS A PUNCH at the guys head, and then grabs him in a headlock, after which the other cop KICKS the guy in the NECK! It is kind of hard to describe, but essentially, these two cops started beating this guy up while yelling “STOP RESISTING” and the guy is crying in pain, and they have him on the ground, and it looks as if the one cop is going to break the guys arm trying to cuff him, while the other cop is resting his full body weight on his knee, which is holding the guys head down on the pavement. The guy did not appear to be resisting, yet the police were clearly not saying it for his benefit, this instructive directed towards the gathering crowd. “STOP RESISTING” code for “hey, we’re just doing our jobs here because this guy is resisting arrest.” From what I saw, and what Ryan and Patrick saw, there was no resisting going on at all.

Yet, what to do? I actually felt around for my cell phone to take video, but I left it at the hotel. Which makes me feel like shit, because if I was looking to intervene, I should have confronted the cops, consequences be damned. Yet, with the severity that they kicked this guys ass, I was worried that this was going to happen to me as well. A video would have shown two Calgary police officers assaulting an unarmed, non-hostile man, and it would have been really bad for these cops.

Afterwards, there was kind of a collective effervescence on the streets, strangers talking to one another about the incident. From the different perspectives of people we talked to afterwards, it was clear that others saw the same thing we did. Three men talking, and one man getting beat up. Except the assailants were wearing Calgary Police uniforms. And the victim is the one sitting in jail.


14 thoughts on “Calgary Police brutality on Stephen Ave.

  1. It was brutal. They were just talking. Everyone seemed calm and then the cops just flipped out and beat the crap out of the guy. When he was yelling “stop resisting” the guy was in no position to resist and obviously his body just didn’t bend the way the cop was trying to make it bend. The knee on the guy’s head was completely unnecessary. It was the kind of thing you see on the American news when they show police brutality stories.
    I said something like “he’s not resisting” just to let the cop know there was a group of people watching. I was also scared to be the next victim of this cop and now regret not doing more.
    It was between 6-7pm on Stephen Ave one or two blocks from the Palace (flames nightclub). There must be security camera footage of the incident.
    I have a high respect for the Police and especially the RCMP. These City of Calgary officers acted like disgusting cowards.

  2. Wow. Now that’s scary.

    You know, I used to have a high regard for the police and RCMP as well – I always thought they do a difficult and dangerous job with insufficient thanks. BUT, let me tell you about two experiences I have had with our city’s finest, bearing in mind I am a goody two-shoes who has NEVER had so much as a traffic violation (or been in any other sort of trouble), and that I used to work with the police in search and resuce organizations.

    The first was when one night I was driving home at midnight after work, and at the intersection of Southland Drive and Macleod trail a vehicle ran a red light and plowed smack into the driver’s side of my car, totalling my vehicle. The other driver (who had no licence and was drunk and had stolen the car from her sister as I found out later) managed to drive away, even though she left large chunks of her car on the road. I called the police and they finally came 2 hours later. There were three witnesses to the accident and much to my surprise (and later relief) they actually waited to give their stories. Well, the police put me in the backseat of their car, and the driver asked me what happened. I was still dripping bits of blood and sniffling over it all, but started to tell him what I thought he wanted to hear. Without warning the policeman in the passenger’s seat started to SCREAM at me to shut the F*** up and keep quiet unless spoken to. Huh? He continued to go ever more berserk and started to threaten to use force to restrain me, even though I was cowering in the seat and saying NOTHING. Apparently he wasn’t ready to take notes when I had started. The witnesses (and later the driver) came to my rescue at that point by knocking on the window – lord knows what would have happened if they were not there, but I wouldn’t have blamed them if they had simply fled. The ass gave their numbers and mine to the idiot who did the hit and run as well – I got a call at 5:30 the next morning from the stupid woman threatening to get me if I reported her. A wee tad late… After all “I had moved after the accident so I wasn’t dead and shouldn’t have a problem”. Nice… just what I needed – my own personal stalker. I ended up moving.

    The second incident consisted of my being pulled over for expired registration. It was an honest mistake – I’ve always renewed my registration for two years, but must have goofed and made the renewal for one year that one time. Well stupid me, I tried to apologize and explain the mistake. Again, without warning the polieman on the passenger side went nuts on me. He started to scream at me that I was wielding a dangerous weapon (!?!), and that I should be grateful for them not arresting me, impounding my car, and dragging me downtown. After haranging me for some 20 minutes they made me get out of the car and leave it in the middle of no-where in December (I would have been happy to go downtown in a nice warm car at that point). Instead of letting me walk TEN FEET down the road so that I could get by the shrubs edging the road, they made me climb thorugh them. This was less edifying than one might think since they were thorn bushes and they knew it – they laughed loud and long as my coat was shredded. I was allowed to leave under the following conditions: I was not to move the car – they were patrolling the area and if they found it gone they said they would hunt me down and arrest me for assault with a deadly weapon. Who pray tell was I assaulting??? Didn’t matter. I was to have the car off the road by 7:00 am the next morning, and the only way to do this was by legally renewing the registration. Of course seeing as this was a Saturday night that was impossible, but they said that was my problem and I would have to find somewhere open. How? I had no cell phone with me either (darn thing was dead), and a grand total of enough change for one call. It took an hour to find a phone. Thank goodness I reached a friend who could call a tow truck and get the car transported. We did that and then crept to a police station with the bill to prove how the car was moved – and were kicked out for wasting their time. Say what??? Of course the kicker was that the same guys stopped one of the friends I was supposed to meet at a restaurant (the night before my experience) and just gave him a friendly warning. Apparently two stops in one week was too much.

    The dumb thing is that I was as polite and meek as they say they want from the public and yet that wasn’t good enough. I can tell you that I would have had a hard time doing anything other than what you guys did – I’ve been on the receiving end of the shouting, and that alone was enough to tell me that you would have gotten no-where but in the cell next to this guy, no doubt painfully dripping various unseemly fluids. I would have been there too, except perhaps for being female, althouh one also wonders if that is what precipitated such behavior in the first place. Regardless, I certainly look at the police differently now!

  3. I was assaulted at last nights flames game on nov 29
    by security guards very similar to the stephen ave brutality
    described above I want to launch a lawsuit and get them fired

  4. So it is your responsibility as a citizen to report what you saw. Regardless of whether or not it was a police officer who assaulted someone, shouldn’t you report it?

  5. If anyone really thinks the cops just jumped on that guy or anyone else for no reason, you’re out of your effing mind. Anytime the police lay hands on someone, they expose themselves to being fucked by the long dick of the law themselves.
    What do you think, they were bored? That the guy called them pigs? Instead of running your mouths about stuff you don’t understand in the least, why don’t you find out what exactly you saw.
    Did you see the guy pop the drugs into his mouth? Did you see him slide his hand back into his pocket, towards a hidden weapon, after being repeatedly told not to? Did you hear the cops tell the guy to turn over the drugs he was holding in his fist? Didn’t think so.
    Anyone and everyone can call the cops to find out about any incident that dusturbed them, and they do it all the time.
    The officers involved will give you a full account of exactly what happened, and why they lay the beats to the guy, cause they have to. It’s guaranteed their boss already knows what happened, because they disclosed every last punch in the incident report.
    Do you like beating on people for no reason? Then why do you think everyone who’s just a person like you, working as a cop would like it? Especially under they scrutiny they face?
    You talk about the horrifying incident you witnessed as if it was police-instigated. The fact that the ‘part’ of the incident that is always discussed as being so horrifying is the police violence makes me want to puke.
    When’s the last time anyone posted anything about the drug abuse, the dealing, and the sickening crime surrounding it all? Does anyone talk about the horror they felt when they saw THAT go down? They don’t because they don’t see it.
    Believe me, if you did see your child or relative or even yourself in the situations the police deal with every day on the street, then you would know horror, and maybe change your focus on the events before you.
    And why don’t you see it? It’s been said: the police deal with it. I’m sure that all involved feel really badly that you had to watch a fight. Maybe next time you can step up and go toe-to-toe with evil incarnate, to interdict on behalf of all of us at risk. Until then, I’m sure you’re welcome.

    PS, yes it is a good thing you didn’t interfere, cause you would have been obstructing the only real justice left in the whole system, albeit very small, and those cops would have likely (and hopefully) fed you that cell-phone, along with your teeth.
    At least you got home safe that night, didn’t you..

    • The police try to put fear and hoplesness into everyone, they are a corperate gang hired by the government they beat and abuse men women and kids its either mental or physical abuse,they act like the gangsters on the street that do exactly the same thing.Some people are resistant but when a whole street says he wasnt and gets beat the odds favor that it was police instigated.

  6. Calgary Police actually take the time to read insignificant blogs and comment on them? Wow….way to put those tax dollars to good use. If you’re going to sit here and scold us on public forums, at least do so fully admitting you’re an officer instead of cowering and not providing your name. As you know as an officer of the law, you’re supposed to make the public aware that you are in fact an officer. Now go kick some more dogs to death, hoard child porn, beat drunks up, and drive off-duty over the legal limit. Bravo “Dick” Tracy!

  7. Ya yes Calgary City Pig-lice If I wasn’t a stable person they all would be dead by now. It doesn’t take rocket science to fire back at them. Luck they’re still here ass eating pig shit fuck ups!

  8. Nothing more reasuring then a Gay cop arresting you… Hey Matt you gay Pig. Hows your boyfriend at the Harley diner loll

  9. Hi, we are doing on doc on the CPS and all their short comings, there are many…any chance to get one of you on camera about this.

    Please contact us by email

  10. And just when you thought no one had video of how Calgary police behave. Check out Stephen Avenue Christmas Lights Punch out on YT. They are selective of who gets hit, who hits and what they do about it. Just saying… now move along.

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