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Vancouver copper was cuffing rider for red light jumping

 A policeman who was filmed punching a cyclist in the face as he arrested him now faces an investigation.

The Vancouver officer pulled over Andi Shae Akhavan for jumping a red light in the city centre.

He and a colleague attempted to put Akhavan in cuffs, and Akhavan says that when he moved his arm, he received a punch to the face.

Akhavan told CTV News in the USA: “I asked is there better things to be doing than giving tickets."

“I might have used some words I wouldn’t use on TV, but it was in a completely civil manner.”

His friend Mike Schwartz was filming, and placed this video on YouTube:

He wrote in the commentary:

"So my friend Andi was riding his bike home (sober) 3 blocks in Yaletown late last night without a helmet or light on. He went through a red light at the bottom of Robson and Beatty as there was NO traffic there at all (3 way intersection in front of the Terry Fox Memorial). These cops pull him over, and this is what they do to him. I have a full 10m video, and I'm recommending that Andi presses charges. Please help prevent this sort of stuff from happening again by sharing this video / photos, and asking the VPD to investigate VPD Officer Bhabha #2703."

The officer, who has been put on leave, is now to be questioned over his conduct.

Vancouver police department is already suffering something of a PR disaster following the case of Sandy Davidsen, a disabled woman shoved to the ground by a passing officer on the city's Downtown Eastside.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

28 comments

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Campag_10 [153 posts] 3 years ago
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What a ridiculous and disproportionate abuse of power. Any police officer who thinks it's okay to punch someone in handcuffs has serious issues.

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Leviathan [2059 posts] 3 years ago
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Canadian police often wear hoodies and beanie hats? If they are in plain clothes I suspect they really DO have something better to be doing.

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The _Kaner [805 posts] 3 years ago
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VPD Officer Bhabha #2703 has a suspiciously English accent....for a Canadian...
 22

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Sudor [188 posts] 3 years ago
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Officer Bhabha's behaviour is unprovoked and reveals a preference to mindless violence. No room in any Police force for someone who can behave like this. He should be prosecuted for criminal assault and sacked from his job in the Force.

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lechatcanadien [3 posts] 3 years ago
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CTV is not an American news network ... it's Canadian.

Glad to see it wasn't an Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) pulling a stunt like this - shameful. Given it's the Vancouver Metro police force too, the closest this cop will ever come to policing again is probably the mall, if he's found guilty. Can't exactly dispute the video evidence!

He's sounds British too...

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SpeshRider7287 [73 posts] 3 years ago
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Why do they even need to be investigated? Here's conclusive video proof of what you have done, here's your punishment. They're just savages who'll do anything to bend the rules and get away with it.

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AWPeleton [3347 posts] 3 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:

Canadian police often wear hoodies and beanie hats? If they are in plain clothes I suspect they really DO have something better to be doing.

I believe the officer is a sihk hence the headwear.

As a serving cop myself this is disgusting and has no place in modern day Policing.

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paulfg42 [391 posts] 3 years ago
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Should have hit him with a baseball bat for jumping a red light. Might have persuaded him of the benefits of a helmet too.  19

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OldnSlo [135 posts] 3 years ago
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I sincerely hope that police doesn't get deported back to these shores !

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Colin Peyresourde [1736 posts] 3 years ago
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I don't know what standard police procedure is but a punch to the head doesn't really seem to be appropriate. But breaking a red light is also not 'OK' and while I'm not defending the cops actions, we should remember that the cop is trying to do his job - not an easy one.

The officer says that he believed the 'suspect' was resisting arrest, and I have to say the 'suspect' does move his arms out of the handcuffs. To be fair to the cop he doesn't attempt to stop the filming and does not seem unreasonable.

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zanf [850 posts] 3 years ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

The officer says that he believed the 'suspect' was resisting arrest, and I have to say the 'suspect' does move his arms out of the handcuffs.

Then surely, a move to restrain the 'suspect' would be appropriate rather than punching him in the face?

If you go back and watch the video again, you'll see that the cop lets go of the guys arm then pauses momentarily before punching him in the face.

Totally uncalled for, unprovoked and flat out assault.

Also, why is he arresting a cyclist for running a red light when usually a ticket is issued?

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Paul J [892 posts] 3 years ago
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Note that the cop tells him to "relax your arms" *AFTER* he punches him. Surely the warning/instruction should come *after* the punch?

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Jonomc [29 posts] 3 years ago
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I think the correct punishment for riding a bike without lights through a red light should be a punch in the face. However, it's not this cops job to dish it out.

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AWPeleton [3347 posts] 3 years ago
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In this country we have whats called the "conflict management model" which is used with basically every situation / incident we attend.

If we have to use violence / force to restrain someone we have to justify why we did it. In this video the cop was not alone and the use of force used by the IP was minimal so in those circumstance i personally would not have needed to use force such as the cop did.

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zanf [850 posts] 3 years ago
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Jonomc wrote:

I think the correct punishment for riding a bike without lights through a red light should be a punch in the face. However, it's not this cops job to dish it out.

So a cyclist that runs a red light should be physically assaulted?

http://youtu.be/Dx_UJxuQGXo?t=21s

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rich22222 [165 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm glad I don't get cuffed and punched everytime I run a red light...

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doc [167 posts] 3 years ago
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First, no lights at night, runs a red. Two offences which presumably gets a ticket or two. Why the need to use handcuffs? Silly traffic violation, and should be sanctioned, but the reaction is excessive. It does make you wonder though, if this individual has been dishing out punches before and getting away with it - off camera.

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Simon_MacMichael [2457 posts] 3 years ago
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stumps wrote:

In this country we have whats called the "conflict management model" which is used with basically every situation / incident we attend.

Interesting, then, that the London-born officer who dealt out the punch was trained in the UK before moving to Canada.

http://www.btpolfed.org.uk/conf/awards2008b.htm

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AWPeleton [3347 posts] 3 years ago
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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
stumps wrote:

In this country we have whats called the "conflict management model" which is used with basically every situation / incident we attend.

Interesting, then, that the London-born officer who dealt out the punch was trained in the UK before moving to Canada.

http://www.btpolfed.org.uk/conf/awards2008b.htm

Simon, it does make you think, he obviously took no notice or does not care. He is an embarrasment to us who try to do our job properly and deserves everything he gets IMHO.

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AWPeleton [3347 posts] 3 years ago
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Also, he deserves praise in relation to the award but it does not mean you can have carte blanche in other situations.

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fatbeggaronabike [820 posts] 3 years ago
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So let me see this IDIOT is cycling through an urban area late at night with no lights on runs a red light then mouths off to the rozzer, [Akhavan told CTV News in the USA:] “I asked is there better things to be doing than giving tickets."

“I might have used some words I wouldn’t use on TV, but it was in a completely civil manner.”

I don't think he asked and how do you swear at somebody in a civil manner?

Sorry I know this will upset some of the defend the cyclist at all costs brigade, but I think he deserved that and more.

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ConradCyclo [7 posts] 3 years ago
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all this fuss over a wee smack in the chops. Obviously never had (or seen) a proper beating from the Police or anyone else.

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northstar [1108 posts] 3 years ago
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Gee, i bet you two would be singing a different tune if it was you.

Completely over the top reaction, the police uphold the law, not break it.

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Ush [706 posts] 3 years ago
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Criminal assault by a police officer while another police officer stands by. What a surprise.

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Carl [137 posts] 3 years ago
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So the cop knows he's being filmed and still punches the guy? He should be sacked for being a moron.

And the cyclist is a moron for jumping a red light, because in breaking the law he's saying it's OK for others to break the law.

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jervais [18 posts] 3 years ago
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The worst part of this is that you write 'CTV News in the USA'. It's Canadian. Don't think the young chap quite deserves the reprimand he received, still, red light jumpers, they ruin it for all of us.

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Vikeonabike [59 posts] 3 years ago
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Vikeonabike 8 minutes ago

Firstly, for a red light/no lights offence a ticket would have been written. So What did he do to get himself arrested? Behaviour? Refused details? He admits to using language he wouldn't use on TV! He could have accepted the ticket and been on his way. If he did not agree with the ticket he could have requested a court appearance. The "Victim" was clearly not "IN" cuffs, he had one arm free. He resisted! A "distraction" strike was used to affect arrest, it would have looked better had it been a slap rather than a punch. You only see the end of the film and not the altercation from beginning to end!That makes a big difference! The officer did not do anything wrong in my humble opinion! Had I been in his position I feel comfortable I could have justified my action!

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darrenleroy [214 posts] 1 year ago
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Colin Peyresourde wrote:

I don't know what standard police procedure is but a punch to the head doesn't really seem to be appropriate. But breaking a red light is also not 'OK' and while I'm not defending the cops actions, we should remember that the cop is trying to do his job - not an easy one.

The officer says that he believed the 'suspect' was resisting arrest, and I have to say the 'suspect' does move his arms out of the handcuffs. To be fair to the cop he doesn't attempt to stop the filming and does not seem unreasonable.

If he pulls his arm away the cop could have pulled it back rather than punching him in the face. And his English accent makes me ashamed.