(Content Warning: Language)
A video of a Vancouver police sergeant, who smashed a motorist’s window, has raised questions about the rights drivers have when they are pulled over by police. The testy exchange caught on video shows the unidentified driver opening his window just a crack and infuriating the police officer by not stepping out of the vehicle when he was told to do so. Instead, the driver repeatedly asked the police officer for an explanation for why he was pulled over. “Hit the brakes, you moron,” the police officer says. “Sir, why have you pulled me over?” the unidentified driver replies. The police officer says in the video that he can smell marijuana and warns the driver he will smash the window if he does not comply. “I’m gonna break the window now in two seconds,” the officer says, right before breaking the window. The mystery motorist, who calls himself Bodhi Sattva on YouTube, posted that he was physically assaulted and traumatized by the arrest and was found not to be impaired. He did not respond to CBC’s request for comment. According to the Vancouver police, the incident — which happened in November — resulted in the driver being charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession for the purposes of trafficking and obstructing a police officer.
What do you think? Did the officer have reasonable cause for his actions? Could he have handled it better?