A courageous Toronto police officer who declined to shoot the man suspected of crashing a van into a sidewalk packed with pedestrians, killing 10, garnered praise for his restraint.
Witness video obtained by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. appears to show the officer, who has been identified in the Canadian press as Constable Ken Lam, handcuffing and van attack suspect with no shots being fired. Police identified the suspect as Alek Minassian, 25, and are trying to determine his motive for the horror.
The lone officer came upon the man standing outside the van, his arm raised and pointing something at the officer. The officer points his gun at the suspect.
“Come on, get down,” the officer says.
“Kill me,” is the reply.
“No, Get down, get down,” the officer says.
“I have a gun in my pocket,” the suspect says. The officer says he doesn’t care and repeats the order to get down. The suspect repeats his claim of a gun in his pocket.
“Get down or you will be shot… in the head,” the office says.
But as the man approaches, the officer appears to determine that whatever the man is pointing, it’s not a gun. The officer puts away his gun, draws a baton and approaches.
The man quickly backs off, then lays down on the ground and the officer cuffs him.
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders said the officer did a “fantastic job,” that his actions reflected the ”high caliber of training,” that officers are taught to use as little force as possible.
Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association, said officers “responded with incredible acts of courage, compassion and professionalism.”
“In the U.S., that guy would have been lit up,” said Carly Musclow, 30, a resident who lives near the scene of the crime. “The police handled the situation as they should. I would call it being fair.”
Contributing: Aamer Madhani
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