Canadian Teen In Star Wars Stormtrooper Costume Held At Gunpoint After Police Mistake Blaster For Weapon
A teenage employee at a Star Wars-themed restaurant in Canada was held at gunpoint while wearing a stormtrooper costume after police mistook her plastic blaster for a weapon.
The 19-year-old had been told by her employers at Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina in Lethbridge, Canada, to wear the costume to celebrate Star Wars Day on May 4.
However, while she was standing outside greeting customers, somebody called the police on the teenager believing she was carrying a firearm, leading police to rush to the scene with their guns drawn and demand she drop the ‘weapon’.
You can watch what happened below:
Video footage captured by a passerby shows at least three officers pointing their guns at the 19-year-old, with one screaming ‘Get down on the ground’ as she holds her hands up in confusion.
She can then be seen complying to their orders and kneeling on the ground, although a statement by the Lethbridge Police Service claims she ‘did not initially comply with further police directions to get down on the ground’.
The statement continued:
The weapon was ultimately confirmed to be a fake firearm and the female subject, who indicated she was an employee promoting a local business, was not charged.
Bradley Whalen, the owner of Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina, said the young woman is one of his employees and was doing nothing wrong at the time she was apprehended by police.
Whalen told Global News the teenager had been walking outside the front of the property ‘just waving at people’ for about an hour before he heard the commotion outside.
When he headed outside, the business owner said he witnessed a number of police officers with guns drawn, adding: ‘The plastic blaster she was using had been over by the corner of the parking lot, the police had already looked at it. They picked it up and had seen that it was just a plastic prop.’
My concern isn’t that police responded to someone who called and reported.
My problem is that after they determined that it was a fake prop, police still continued to yell at her with the guns pointed, telling her to, ‘get down on her face, get down on her face,’ and then proceeded to handcuff her after they knew that it was a plastic prop toy.
Whalen explained that the helmet she was wearing at the time makes it hard for anybody to hear you and also for you to hear other people, which might explain why the police stated that she didn’t comply.
The police statement said the teenager ‘sustained a minor injury but did not require medical attention’, with Whalen saying she sustained a bloody nose when police made her get down on her stomach on the ground.
Lethbridge Police Service Chief Scott Woods confirmed an internal investigation is taking place following the incident to see whether the officers acted appropriately within the scope of their training and police policies.
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CreditsGlobal News and 2 others
Lethbridge Police Service/Facebook