A new video depicting an elderly couple wrestling with members of the Coquitlam, British Columbia Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) after they were said to have refused to leave an annual meeting of condominium owners at the local Best Western is attracting attention online. Passions at the meeting apparently became ignited, and some of the members were reported to have “gotten out of hand,” resulting in the call to RCMP.
The couple depicted in the RCMP video, which is graphic and disturbing, is reported by the CBC to be Myung Ju Lee and Kap Su Lee; each is said to be in their 80s. The couple was treated by paramedics following the incident and were reported to have spent the night in the hospital. Myung Ju Lee reportedly wound up with a bruise on his face.
The video begins with Ju Lee on the ground and an RCMP officer leaning over him. Soon, the member of the RCMP drags the elderly man down the flight of stairs into the hotel’s lobby. A child, said to be the Lees granddaughter, can be heard crying and seen hitting an RCMP officer, who held up his hand, lightly defending against little girl’s punches.
The RCMP dragging video then turns to Su Lee grappling with an RCMP officer on the central staircase of the Coquitlam Best Western.
“They’re in their eighties. Grandparents. They shouldn’t have handled it that way,” fellow condo owner Victor Kim said to the CBC.
The head of the Coquitlam RCMP, Superintendent Sean Maloney, noted that no formal complaint has been lodged with the Mounties with regard to the dragging video. He did acknowledge that the contents of the video “cause concern to the public.”
“As the officer in charge of Coquitlam RCMP Detachment, I have initiated a review into the actions of the police officers involved,” Maloney was quoted.
The superintendent indicated that the investigation would examine why the RCMP needed to be called to the hotel in the first place.
“You’re going to kill her man,” a man’s voice can be heard, speaking to an RCMP officer in the video as Kap Su Lee flails on the ground.
“I’m not killing her,” the officer responds, proceeding to then turn the woman’s arm behind her back in a submission hold as she sits at the top of the staircase.
The couple’s granddaughter’s wails continued throughout.
When judging the contents of the Coquitlam RCMP video, police are asking the public to give the force the opportunity to “complete their review.”
One YouTube report by Jessi suggests that “fighting had broken out” at the meeting of condominium residents preceding the recording of the altercation between the elderly couple and officer with the RCMP.
Members of social media expressed disapproval with the treatment of the seniors at the hands of the RCMP in the Coquitlam footage.
“Unbelievable,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Totally unacceptable in all circumstances,” another RCMP video tweet stated.
A third asked if convicted felon and Canadian Conrad Black would have received such treatment for a “verbal tantrum” at one of his board meetings. Just before his indictment for fraud in 2005, Black controlled Hollinger International, now the Sun-Times Media Group.
The RCMP serves as the community police force in Coquitlam. The RCMP came to be in 1920 with the amalgamation of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police together with the Dominion Police.
While the RCMP does have a presence in Vancouver, British Columbia’s largest city has its own city police department. The RCMP only investigates federal crimes in Ontario and Quebec; the Mounties are not involved in city policing in those provinces, which have the Ontario Provincial Police and the Surete du Quebec filling that role in areas that do not have their own regional or city police forces, such as the Peel Regional Police and the Toronto Police Service.
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