A viral video shows police Tasering a subdued man lying on his stomach.
OTTAWA: The Democracy Fund (TDF) is defending a man Tasered by Ottawa Police after he was arrested for alleged public intoxication during an October 2023 protest in the nation's capital. He was later charged with criminal offences.
A viral video of the arrest shows a man on his stomach exhibiting no obvious signs of resistance as two police officers hover above him, one of whom is pressing a Taser against the man's back. Soon, the man on the ground begins to scream and writhe in pain as one onlooker yells at the police to stop.
Ontario's Liquor License and Control Act prohibits public intoxication and empowers police to arrest anyone who is publicly intoxicated if the police think an arrest is necessary for the safety of any person.
According to TDF lawyer Adam Blake-Gallipeau, lead counsel on the case, it's the police who most likely caused a situation of danger. "Our information shows that our client was Tasered within two minutes of his arrest, after which the police pointed the Taser towards a crowd of shocked and concerned onlookers."
While public intoxication is not a criminal offence, the Tasered man was later charged with causing a disturbance and obstructing a police officer in the execution of their duty.
"Police can use reasonable force when arresting someone," says Blake-Gallipeau. "But this time, they went too far."
TDF intends to vigorously defend this case.
About The Democracy Fund:
Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.