Police officers in Gatineau, Quebec, responded last week to a New Year’s Eve party inside a home allegedly in violation of the province’s COVID-19 mandate, and a video emerged of the interaction that prompted some to accuse the officers of using excessive force.
The video caught the attention of Donald Trump Jr., who retweeted it and wrote, “This is insanity and it’s coming here soon if you don’t wake the hell up.”
CBC News reported that authorities were tipped off by a neighbor that a small party was taking place at the residence. The report said there were six people from multiple households in attendance, despite the public health act that banned the intermingling of households.
Quebec recorded 7,600 new coronavirus cases in the past three days and 121 additional deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the province of 8.4 million to 8,347, according to GlobalNews.ca.
The CBC report said that police insisted that the video does not show the full story and one of the individuals arrested assaulted an officer.
Mathieu Tessier, who was one of the two arrested at the scene, told the news outlet that police used excessive force and treated the people at the house “like animals, like criminals.”He denied hitting an officer.
He told the outlet that he went outside because the officers took his mother’s arms “from the house and pulled to get her out.”
Police told the outlet that at least one of the individuals detained will face charges stemming from the incident, including assault.
Some social media users said that the police officers should have tried to diffuse the situation, while others said the responding officers were in a difficult situation and simply upholding the province’s mandate.
The Gatineau Police Department tweeted in response to allegations that some officers were not wearing masks. The tweet said the first two officers had been outside speaking to the owner of the house and at some point, “people became aggressive.”
“One male hit an officer multiple times in the face,” the tweet said. “The officers who were not wearing masks were called back up and due to the emergency, didn’t have time to put it on.”