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Toronto police asked to investigate arrest of man in Orillia after video surfaces

OPP file image. OPP file image.

Toronto police are investigating an incident caught on video which appears to show officers from the Ontario Provincial Police repeatedly punching and tasing a civilian during the course of an arrest in Orillia.

In a news release issued on Thursday, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) said they are seeking the assistance of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) after reviewing a complaint regarding “the conduct” of its officers involved in the matter.

The OPP said they have sought assistance from the TPS “to ensure an independent investigation into the concerns raised and the associated allegations.”

The incident occurred outside a bar on Mississauga Street East shortly before 3 a.m. on Sept. 9.

The Ontario Provincial Police have previously said that officers were called to the area by a patron at the bar.

According to the OPP, police attempted to “peacefully resolve” the situation, but soon arrested the person who initially called the OPP to the scene.

Michel Foucault, 33, of Toronto, was subsequently charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer with intent to resist arrest and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 24.

In a news release on Sept. 9, OPP said they were aware of a “privately recorded video” posted to social media which showed a portion of the arrest.

However, they defended the actions of their officers.

“This incident is an example of calls our officers respond to when individuals resist arrest,” the release notes. “This video captures only a portion of the event and shows the responding officer selecting the most appropriate use of force option to address the immediate situation, exposing the subject, public and officer to the lowest level of risk.”

At this point it is not clear why Foucault called police to the scene. However, in a GoFundMe created to help cover his legal costs, the campaign organizer, who identified himself as his brother, said that he “felt compelled to call the police to help protect others from escalating homophobic comments and violence.”

“His intention was to seek their assistance and ensure the safety of everyone involved,” they wrote.

CP24 reached out to Toronto Police for comment and was told that the service’s Professional Standards Unit is investigating the matter “at the request of the OPP.” Top Stories

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