Police investigating “physical confrontation” between officer and youth at skate park

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Provincial police have asked another force to investigate a “physical confrontation” between an officer and a young person on a scooter in Gravenhurst, Ont.

They say they placed the officer on administrative duties after becoming aware of Sunday’s incident from a video posted to social media.

The video, posted by Brodie O’Hare on Instagram, appears to show an officer shoving a young person off his scooter.

Activities at skate parks, like most other outdoor activities, have been banned under provincial orders in an effort to control gatherings during the pandemic.

Police say the incident occurred Saturday, when an officer stopped to talk to a group of youngsters in a skate park.

They say the young people were not wearing masks and were not physically distancing.

“Don’t touch me!” a person can be heard yelling in the video after the confrontation.

“He’s 12 years old!” another person can be heard yelling.

Police confirmed that is the video they are investigating.

“Today, I witnessed a 12-year-old get pushed over by a police officer at our local skate park in Gravenhurst, Ontario,” O’Hare wrote in the post.

O’Hare did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Officers attempted to interact with the youths, which led to a physical confrontation between one officer and one young person,” police said.

“To ensure transparency in this matter, I have requested that Chief Nishan Duraiappah assign members of the Peel Regional Police Service to conduct an investigation into this incident,” OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique said in a statement.

“We understand the concerns being expressed by members of the public, and I want to assure everyone that the Ontario Provincial Police holds its members to highest levels of professionalism and accountability.”

On Saturday, Premier Doug Ford announced a series of restrictions that shuttered most outdoor recreation spaces across the province. It was part of the province’s most recent measures to combat the pandemic with hospitals buckling under the pressure of severely ill patients with COVID-19.

The outdoor restrictions have been widely criticized by the health care community.

Liam Casey, The Canadian Press

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