Police brutality at Union Station bus terminal
On Sunday March 11 2018, two patrons at the Union Station GO bus terminal witnessed transit constables and Toronto police assaulting a man they identified as having mental health issues.
In a video filmed by one witness, transit constables suggest the man, whom they call “Chris,” has mental health issues, and tell him an ambulance is coming for him. But the constables then suggest the man is lying to them about his identity, and arrest him for obstruction of justice.
Constables and Toronto Police violently restrain the man for over 30 minutes—two different officers use their knees to pin the man’s head and neck to the ground. The second officer uses this dangerous technique for over eight minutes. At one point police suggest an officer with a taser is about to arrive. Police and transit constables repeatedly ask the witnesses filming them for identification, and threaten to confiscate their cell phones.
An ambulance arrives on scene after about 25 minutes—police instruct the paramedic who approaches them not to treat the man, saying he has been acting violently, and she complies. The paramedic does not even attempt to engage the man.
Police ultimately remove the man from the station in handcuffs and leg restraints. The video below has been edited for length, and to protect the man’s identity.
According to Statistics Canada, people living with mental health issues or cognitive disabilities are four times more likely to experience violence than their peers.