RCMP investigating leak of dramatic takedown video in B.C.
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, October 13, 2017 8:22AM EDT
The RCMP is conducting an internal investigation after a video showing a dramatic takedown of two suspects in Burnaby, B.C. leaked online.
The original video was captured by a home’s surveillance camera on 16th Avenue in August and shows undercover Vancouver police officers drive their unmarked SUV into the side of an oncoming car with two suspects in it. Another parked vehicle nearby was damaged in the collision.
Police officers are then seen exiting the SUV and using stun guns and a K9 unit to subdue the suspects. At one point, a police dog is shown dragging one of the suspects out of the car.
In September, a Vancouver man named Danny Spagnolo posted a video of the takedown to his Facebook page, where it’s since been viewed more than 78,000 times.
CTV Vancouver reached out to the homeowners who initially captured the video on their security camera on Thursday. They said they gave their only copy of the footage to the police and never uploaded it online.
So how did evidence showing a takedown by Vancouver police end up on Spagnolo’s Facebook page?
The video itself appears to offer some clues. The minute-long clip posted online seems to be shot from a cellphone by someone watching the original video on a desktop computer monitor. Faint audio with chatter and RCMP code for a police vehicle can be heard in the background, which may imply it was shot within the Burnaby RCMP detachment.
Spagnolo told CTV Vancouver from his current home in Peru that he didn’t receive the video from an officer in Burnaby. He said the girlfriend of a police officer in Victoria, B.C. gave him the footage he subsequently uploaded online.
Spagnolo said he posted the video because he thought the police officers’ tactics were dangerous and that they should be held accountable for their actions.
“There could have been kids in that parked car and they could have been dead,” Spagnolo said, referring to the parked car damaged during the collision.
In a statement, Burnaby RCMP confirmed their professional standards unit was looking into the matter.
“An internal code of conduct investigation has been launched,” Staff Sgt. Annie Linteau said. “The investigative findings will determine any future actions.”
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Jon Woodward