The Vancouver Police Department began an investigation into the officer's conduct after his actions were captured on video by a CBC producer and aired on the network.
Yesterday, the Vancouver Police Professional Standards Section announced the investigation of the plainclothes officer whose name has not been released. The office of the Public Complaints Commissioner has been advised of the situation and the Abbotsford Police Department has been asked to conduct an external investigation.
Vancouver police responded to a robbery call at a sex shop around 8 p.m. Wednesday. According to police, $150 in cash and $250 in merchandise was taken. Shortly after the alleged robber fled, a woman flagged down officers and said someone had attempted to hijack her vehicle. The woman's description of the man fit that of the person who robbed the store.
A short time later, police received several calls that a man was taking off his clothes and trying to enter a Vancouver residence. Police arrived and took Ryan James Fenton, 39, of Surrey, into custody.
The video, filmed on a smartphone by a CBC producer, appears to show the man wearing only his underwear sitting on a curb with his hands behind his back. From the tape he does not appear to be struggling, fighting, or trying to get away. He is surrounded by uniformed and plainclothes police officers. Suddenly, one of the plainclothes officers kicks him on the chest. The impact was enough to cause the man to fall over to his right.
David Eby, a spokesperson for the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, is quoted by CBC as saying, "This is somebody who is handcuffed, virtually naked, sitting on a sidewalk, getting kicked. And that's not acceptable."
The Vancouver Sun reports Felton was taken to Vancouver General Hospital because police believed he was having a bad reaction to drugs. It is not known whether he received any injuries as a result of the police officer's actions.
Felton has been charged with one count of robbery and the plainclothes officer has been removed from active duty.