iN VIDEO: Man mistakenly arrested by Kamloops Mounties speaks out after incident caught on video - InfoNews

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iN VIDEO: Man mistakenly arrested by Kamloops Mounties speaks out after incident caught on video

A video posted to Facebook by Jamie Collick shows a man being arrested by multiple police officers outside a home in Westsyde on May 30, 2019.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/ Jamie Collick
June 07, 2019 - 7:00 AM

KAMLOOPS — A Kamloops man who mistakenly held at gunpoint by multiple officers during a dramatic takedown on a residential road in Kamloops says he was simply resting in his own vehicle before a team of police officers dragged him out of his car, cuffed him and broke his thumb in the process.

Keith Barber, 60, is a concrete finisher and was working at a job site on Westmount Drive on Thursday, May 30 when he decided to take a break in his hatchback at approximately 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon.

“I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Barber says, nearly a week later. "I did nothing wrong."

It was a hot day and the concrete truck that was supposed to show up so Barber could finish his job was taking longer than usual. Barber decided to park his car two houses down from his job site in an area with some shade while he waited.

It's something he does often while working out in the heat, except this time Barber was left with a broken thumb and a scraped up elbow. Police were called about a suspicious incident of a man passed out in his vehicle and reported Barber's licence plate incorrectly which came back to a stolen car.

“It was 30 degrees out, I was parked next to the only house that had shade there at that time,” he says. "Instead of the person in the house coming up to me and saying 'hey could you move along', he phones in the wrong licence plate so it comes back stolen."

As soon as he parked, Barber says he was hoping for a quick snooze with his driver’s side door and hatchback door both open to let in some air.

“I had my eyes closed and then a police car hits me from behind and jolted my neck," he says.

Barber says he instantly woke up and saw a second police vehicle driving towards the driver's side of his vehicle. 

“All of a sudden they have got their guns out,” Barber says. “Two of them reached in the window and (started) dragging me, punching the crap out of me on the ground.”

Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says the licence plate supplied by the complainant was incorrect and came back to a stolen vehicle. 

“With this information, police officers attended to this vehicle with an abundance of caution,” Shelkie says. “It was later determined that the man was the registered owner of the vehicle and he was resting, not passed out.”

“A supervisor attended the scene, explained the circumstances leading to the officers' actions and apologized to the man,” Shelkie says.

She adds that the man in the vehicle was defensive and didn’t comply with police directions. Shelkie says these circumstances were very similar to a previous incident that had occurred a few days earlier where a suspect in a stolen vehicle hit a woman and rammed a police vehicle.

But Barber says police weren't clear in their direction when they surrounded his vehicle. The man recording the video is also heard saying "you could have asked him to come out."

Barber says the incident was physically painful considering his age and explains why he is heard yelling in the video.

“I’m screaming because they’ve got both my arms twisted up. I’m 60 years old, my arms can’t bend like that,” he says. “They handcuffed me as hard as they could and when they finally ran my plate they realized it was wrong (they) said sorry and took off.”

Although it was a big misunderstanding, Barber says he didn't care for an apology from the RCMP.

"You can't change the police, they are the way they are," he says. "I would like an apology from the 'do-gooder' that lied and read in my licence plate number when all he had to do is read my normal plate when he saw me parked in front of the house."

Barber says even though he is in pain, he went right back to work. At the end of the incident, when Barber was finally let go, a supervisor arrived to explain the situation to him.

"He didn't witness anything, a supervisor showed up and said it was protocol and said they were sorry," he says. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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