A jaywalking incident escalated Sunday morning when Vancouver Police officers tackled, kicked, tasered and arrested former UBC football player Jamiel Moore-Williams on the Granville Strip.
Officers from the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) confronted Moore-Williams early Sunday morning for a jaywalking violation. At the start of a video provided to CTV News, the 22-year-old is seen protesting to two police officers. He claims that the officers targeted and stopped him because he was black.
The video shows more officers arriving to the scene. Seven officers in total quickly surrounded him and pull him to the ground. While he was being held to the ground, some officers appear to punch and kick him. Another shot a taser at him.
Moore-Williams was hospitalized at St. Paul’s Hospital, then spent the rest of the weekend in police custody. He was given a jaywalking ticket and was charged with two counts of obstruction of justice.
The VPD released a statement denying that Moore-Williams was targeted because he was black.
A similar incident in which two Transit Police officers beat a former UBC student and football player over alleged fare evasion took place in Vancouver five years ago. One of the officers was sentenced to 12 months of probation after pleading guilty to assault while assault charges against the other officer were dropped. A complaints hearing for the officers began in January. The victim in that case has since filed a civil suit against the two officers as well as transit police.
Malcolm Lee, a current UBC student and a friend of Moore-Williams, witnessed the incident and recorded it on his cellphone. Both of them were members of the 2015/16 Vanier Cup-winning Thunderbirds.
This article will be updated as more information becomes available. Neither Lee nor Moore-Williams could be reached for comment before publication time.