An internal investigation is underway by Halifax Regional Police in Nova Scotia after an officer was seen making threats to a Black man in a video that surfaced on social media over the weekend.
The department called the comments made by the officer, who has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, “unacceptable.”
Footage of the March 26 incident was shared by community leader DeRico Symonds over the weekend.
The encounter reportedly took place in the 200 block of Wentworth Drive in Nova Scotia, Canada. Symonds says the 28-second video shows a white officer with his gun pointed at a Black man with his hands up in a parking lot.
“I will fill you full of f—ing lead,” the officer said at the eight-second mark.
The Black man stepped away from the officer and said, “You’re not allowed to shoot me in the back, before fleeing on foot. The officer didn’t fire his weapon or chase the man as he sprinted around the side of the building.
Police later said officers initially responded to a weapons complaint involving four people. “The citizen was calling because they believed that there was going to be some sort of shooting or gunplay or something was going to happen,” Chief Dan Kinsella told CTV news.
Kinsella said the officer seen in the video was the first to respond to the scene and that the other three people complied with his commands.
“The video itself is what I would call a small piece of the entire interaction but what we can hear in the video is what appears to be inappropriate and unacceptable comments during a very high risk takedown that the officer was involved in. Not only was he faced with a high risk takedown but he was also faced with an individual that was not following his direction at the time.”
A release from the department stated that the man who fled has not been located.
“A Police Service Dog attempted to track the forth male but was not been able to locate the male. There is no description to provide of the male that fled on foot at this time. Officers have seized a vehicle for a search warrant,” the release states.
Police were first sent the video through social media on Saturday afternoon. An internal investigation has been launched but the Serious Incident Response Team can’t investigate the matter unless a complaint has been filed from the person involved. So far, none has been made.
“We recognize that any such incident can be deeply damaging to community relations,” the police department said on Twitter. “We are committed to a full investigation and ask members of the public to allow for due process to take place.”