Witnesses speak out
Two attendees of a party in Kelowna that ended in six arrests and approximately 20 young adults being pepper sprayed are speaking out. Capital News has removed the witnesses’ names from the story names as they fear repercussions.
“It was a safe, fun party for everyone until the cops came,” said Jane (name changed), a female witness.
She explained that at approximately 1 a.m. RCMP officers showed up at the residence. The officers had been called due to a noise complaint. All attendees were between 19 and 25, said Jane.
She said that after the police gave orders, the music was turned off and people were leaving the party.
Another witness, John (name changed), admits that some of the disgruntled partiers were “chirping”, or, talking back, to RCMP officers.
Tensions rose when a man attempted to take a selfie with a female officer.
Jane said that the female officer hit the phone out of his hand and tackled the young man to the ground.
Next, two male officers began beating the young man while he covered his face. Jane and John allege that he did not fight back.
Friends of the man became upset and while no one became violent towards the officers, said Jane, people were trying to get the officers to stop beating the man.
“There was no threat of violence at all to the officers,” said John, adamantly.
Police then began pepper spraying those nearby to disperse the crowd.
Jane said that approximately 20 of the 50 people in attendance were sprayed.
Additionally, many people who were not involved in any altercation were allegedly sprayed.
Jane said that multiple people had to go to the hospital for their injuries.
Kelowna RCMP used pepper spray to shut down an out-of-control party on Friday night (Aug. 26)
Initially, Bylaw Services attended the scene after receiving reports of a “large, out of control party” at a residence located at the 200 Block of Crossridge Crescent.
Bylaw requested RCMP support to gain control of the crowd.
Police officers used non-lethal use-of-force options, including oleoresin capsicum spray (OC spray).
“This was a highly volatile call, the situation was frightening for the neighbours, and it resulted in multiple RCMP officers receiving minor injuries,” said Const. Mike Della-Paolera.
One officer was injured after being assaulted.
Multiple arrests were made and charges have been suggested for assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and mischief.
Six individuals were held until they were sober and able to care for themselves.
One accused was released on a court appearance notice.
BC Emergency Health Services provided care to those individuals requiring decontamination from OC spray.
There is an ongoing investigation by the RCMP and the City of Kelowna Bylaw with further charges being considered.
There were many individuals videotaping the police and partygoers. If you would like to forward your video of this event to the Kelowna RCMP, it can be received at E_kelowna_general_inquiries@rcmp-grc.gc.ca or you can call 250-859-4571, speak to the watch support officer and provide file number 2022-54199.