Canadian Cops Receiving International Praise for Viral Video With Surprising Twist


Cops in Canada spent several minutes wrestling with a woman as several citizens stood around recording with their cameras, criticizing the officers’ aggressive tactics.

By the time they finally managed to stick the woman in the back of the car, around the 4:30 mark, one of the officers turns to the crowd and instead of demanding their cameras as evidence, gives a full explanation as to what just had taken place.


It was so unexpected, that the video so far has received more than 133,000 views since it was posted yesterday.

The officers were from the Hamilton Police Department in Ontario. The girl was being arrested for shoplifting.

She put up one hell of a fight, so be prepared for a continuous and annoying stream of shrieks throughout the first 4:30 minutes of the video.

Perhaps they did not want to receive the backlash that Montreal police received last month where a video emerged showing cops pouncing on a man because he had photographed their car as they were writing him a parking citation.

Whatever the cop’s reasons, it was a refreshing example of transparency rarely seen in the United States.

In fact, Hamilton Police Chief Glenn de Caire is receiving praise from all over the world.

According to the CBC:

With a crowd watching, Hamilton police officers Mark Morelli and Chantelle Wilson spend several minutes subduing and arresting a woman who is screaming and calling out about being hurt as they try to handcuff her. Once she’s in handcuffs and in the back of their police cruiser, the breathless officer then explains to the crowd exactly what he was doing.

“Our domestic policy is very specific. Without going into detail, this young woman has broken the law, and we were attempting to place her under arrest and she began to resist,” he said to the people watching. “I’m doing my best not to hurt that girl. Our mandate is to affect arrests while doing the minimum amount of damage to people as possible. And that’s what I tried to do.”

He explains that he only used “soft hand techniques,” so no punches, kicks or forceful throws to the ground were used to subdue the suspect.

“I’m not going to get into a long wrestling match with a young girl, because the longer she fights, the more likely one of the two of us is going to get hurt,” he said.

The man shooting the video questions the amount of force being used, but the officer reiterates again his approach.

“While it may appear to be very rough to you — and I apologize for you having to see that — but I have the lawful authority to arrest her and I am obligated to arrest her.”

Many people online praised the officers for the way they handled the situation.

Hamilton police Chief Glenn De Caire said he was “very pleased with the amount of communication from our officers,” and how the officers chose to restrain the suspect. He added “this is clearly a display of excellent training.”

De Caire said he first saw the video Thursday morning and that the Hamilton police department has received over a thousand calls and emails of support, some from as far as Australia, the U.S. and Europe.

Hopefully police will see that a little transparency goes a long way.

Here’s their contact info if you want to send them a message.


About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • IcedTeaParty

    I can’t stand the cops but that girl is a douchebag.

    They did a pretty good job.

    And the photogs didn’t help by constantly interrupting the cops.

    That’s something coming from me; I’m a huge critic of the cops.

    And of course I have to point out that it’s the past misbehavior of law enforcement that put this guy on the defensive.

    • bigpawn01

      i agree,the cops were in the right on this one

  • Difster

    The question is, how does that cop act when the cameras aren’t rolling? They’re trained to lie. they’re trained to coerce. Being up front on this instance is no indication that he doesn’t regularly abuse people in his daily course of action even if that’s not what happened in this incident.

    • IcedTeaParty

      Good point. The hope I try to glean from these videos are that at least some of the cops are starting to understand the concept of accountability and modify their behavior accordingly.

      The issue of people recording the police is not going to go away; I expect it to escalate.

    • jeffy1951

      @Difster – How about encouraging officers throughout the world to be more “citizen friendly” by applauding their conduct once in a while instead of condemning them to the old “DO you’re damned DON’T you’re damned” attitude. Enough of THAT attitude and things will NEVER get better because there’s no incentive for them to make this kind of effort to be civilized policemen.

      • Difster

        Do you really think the CopRoaches are going to change because of a few encouraging words on line? I don’t think so.

        They don’t care about our opinions. The ones that do get kicked out anyway the second they speak up and report misconduct.

        • Tyler

          You haven’t reported any misconduct though, you’re just stating that there is misconduct, which there is in every line of work. I’m sure there’s a lawyer somewhere who beats his wife, or a doctor who gives the wrong prescriptions because he doesn’t care enough about whether the patient lives or dies. Being a cop doesn’t make you evil or bad. Being evil or bad does, it has nothing to do with your line of work. Some could even say you’re even for only promoting hate and condemning even good behavior.

          • Fotaugrafee

            In part I agree, but mostly I disagree. When you’re given the tools & “OK” to do a job half-assed or outwardly shitty, 4 out or 5 people are going to take the easy way out. Throwing one’s badge around when you have a gun strapped to your hip is their tool; and you [cartman] “will obey their authority” [/cartman]

          • Difster

            Except that the CopRoaches do these things to other people under color of law and rarely ever suffer any repercussions for it. Sometimes they even get promoted for it.

            The system that coproaches work in is evil and bad so when they’re on duty, they’re evil and bad and should be treated as the enemy.

      • Neville Ross

        Haw about not being such a naive baby and accept the truth-not all cops are there to help you, or even give a shit about you. Check this out and then get back to me and Difster: (BTW, this incident seen in the video happen in the city of Toronto that’s nearby to Hamilton.)

    • Rusty Carr

      Hey c’mon Difster, let’s give credit where credit is due without dragging in what he MIGHT have done w/out the cameras present. The guy looks like a straight up kind of a cop and if the motormouth doing the recording would’ve shut we probably would have a much better understanding of what actually happened.

      • Difster

        I did give him credit for this once instance. But my default position is to assume all cops are corrupt thugs because that is what lines up with reality.

        So far the only place that has shown this to be an exception is Iceland.

    • urlame

      judge people by their actions and the evidence at hand. you have no idea what would’ve happened had cameras not been there. NONE. i don’t remember the last time a police officer ever stopped to take the time to explain a damned thing to me except where i’m supposed to sign the ticket.

      • Difster

        I guess your reading comprehension isn’t so good. I asked what would have happened if the cameras weren’t on.

        But cops seem to behave a lot worse when they don’t think anyone’s watching.

        • effing transplants

          Having had plenty of encounters with the cops – you can often tell the ones with the chips on their shoulders (and i’ll agree, depending on locale, it may be most of them) – and YOU have seen enough on PINAC to know that the abusive cops give zero shits when a camera is rolling. I don’t believe this officer would have arrested this woman any differently if there were no cameras on him. Frankly, it sounds like you’ve got a chip on your shoulder, and you’re unable to recognize a glimmer of hope for what it is.

      • ProudGrandPa

        I have always found cops friendly toward me. I never yell at them or interfere but I do converse and they know when someone genuinely likes them and respects them. Most people do. Golden rule and all…

    • ProudGrandPa

      The question is, how does that cop act when the cameras aren’t rolling?
      A godly person knows that character is doing the right thing when no one is looking. God always sees and cares about you. A godly cop will do right even when other cops could get away with doing wrong.

      • Fotaugrafee

        Ahh yes, it’s got everything to do with that “god” guy & the lawdy geezus!!! AMEN…halleujah, love de geebus!!!

      • Voice-Of-Concern

        what you claim, is not how you act. You show petty spitefulness on a regular basis.. even though you claim “God always sees”.

        I would put a lot more faith in an atheist cop.. one who does not need fairy tales to scare the cop into doing the right thing.

    • Smacker

      The question is, should we judge people for what they COULD HAVE done insted of what they actually did?

      There are no easy ways of arresting a resisting person.
      This cop did the best they could.
      Next time I’m in Hamilton, if he’s off duty, he’s got a beer on me.

    • Steve

      So what? We can only make judgement based on what we see, not based on what we imagine might be happening. We aren’t corrupt thugs, like 95% of people in uniform. We have to follow the evidence, and not invent stories we can’t support, [like corrupt cops nearly always do.]

      We aren’t the bad ones here. It’s tempting to make assumptions, but if we do we’re just like them, corrupt, evil, hateful, and cruel. We aren’t, they are. Keep that in mind. We standing up against evil, it’s important not become exactly what you’re standing up against.

      Finally, if they are some of 5% of cops that do follow the law, do their job professionally, and do care about the greater good of the public, it’s dumb for us and discouraging for them to criticize them despite their best attempts to do everything right.

  • jcfromnj

    This cop may well be the exception to the rule. He had his act together, the photographer on the other hand didn’t have a real grasp on just what was going down. He should have just shut up and
    and been an neutral observer, this is why it’s not a activity for the uninformed….

  • Enoyls

    The guy filming and giving the officer a bunch of crap without bothering to let him speak is a giant douche. He has no knowledge of what went on before hand and before he started filming. From the looks of the video he was very late to the game. Based on the video the officer was doing everything he could to deal with a psychotic flailing perp without hurting her. He was speaking calmly, issuing instructions and the girl was just going batshit crazy. I appreciate and respect his explanation at the end. He did the best explanation he could without violating the perps privacy regarding why she was under arrest. He did not deserve this douchebag giving him crap afterwards.

    • Marty Farty

      The girl was playing to the camera. “Batshit crazy” is an apt description of her behavior.

      • TheFlashingScotsman

        I’ve seen two year old kids that are more convincing actors.

    • r0llinlacs

      Lucky it wasn’t the US. She would have been tazed multiple times at the minimum, maybe even shot because officers felt she was “endangering lives” of citizens and officers.

  • Modres

    Gotta say it is always amazing when someone being arrested by the police is claiming they can’t breathe, yet they never once stop shouting.

    I appreciate the time the officer took to explain things to the crowd. People were startled by her screams and cries for help and it’s difficult to consider the situation logically and without emotion at that time.

    These particular officers went above and beyond and should be commended. Cops like this are few and far between.

    • effing transplants

      LOL – when I used to wrestle in high school – whenever an ooponent would call for the ref that he couldn’t breathe – he would often get told “If you can tell me that, then you’re breathing”

    • steveo

      They should have also explained the situation in French as well as English.

  • Maple Syrup

    It’s possible to arrest someone without tasering them and punching in their face? Who knew?!
    Handcuffing might have gone quicker if Mrs. Officer wasn’t afraid to get her pants dirty.

    • 2crows

      Her job was to keep a safe perimeter between the action and the spectators. She did that adequately. With both LEOs turning their back on a crowd ANYTHING could happen.

    • ProudGrandPa

      You can’t go soft with a thug like Rodney King who was on cocaine. Some thugs must be tased and cuffed.

      • Voice-Of-Concern

        I’m pretty sure that’s a direct quote from Jesus, on the cross

  • Randi Scott

    I think the cops did a good job here

  • proscriptus

    Cops of the world: This is how you do it. Talking to the cameraman is going above and beyond. Note to the cameraman: Next time let them complete the arrest. For all you knew she could have had a loaded gun on her.

  • James Morgan

    Put this officer in the Academy to teach the new guys how to do it.. Proper Procedure (although the female officer could have been a little more help). No mace.. no taser.. no baton, no punching, and no slamming into objects. (it wasn’t the quickest or the easiest way.. but it was within policy and guidelines while respecting everyone’s constitutional rights.) Then he takes the time to explain.. not intimidate or confiscate. As a photojournalist, you learn not to question or comment during the event.. you will have that privledge later.. concentrate on getting the event recorded. So the the photographer needs to learn to be professional and polite.. the cop sure was. You gotta give back what you receive.

    • hazy

      You are supposed to be a fly on the wall as a journalist and not become the story itself.

      • James Morgan

        No.. we must be the Lens thru which the public sees the TRUTH.. (and then they can make up their own minds on what they saw). I WILL PUT DOWN MY CAMERA to save “LIFE OR LIMB” of people in need (if I have the ability to assist or access to equiment in my vehicle that can) But I need a VERY GOOD and LEGALLY JUSTIFIABLE reason to interfere with an arrest or rescue when professionals are there.

  • Patty Hayes

    Seasoned criminals know to scream ‘brutality’ when there’s an audience. She was OBVIOUSLY resisting arrest.

    • Dave in IL

      Agreed. They do it for the same reason that some bad cops shout “stop resisting” when a suspect has already done so. They’re playing to the crowd and trying to minimize their own actions. The suspect has probably been through all this before and is probably adept at manipulation.

  • John G

    The cops looked to use the minimum amount of force to subdue the lady. I think they did a good job in the arrest and in talking with the crowd.

  • jeffy1951

    It IS true that the police bring cynicism and negativity upon themselves as evidenced by the many well documented videos here and elsewhere along with many many stories of police brutality. That said, officer Morelli in particular and his partner should be commended for their restraint and professionalism in light of the suspect’s obvious manipulation of the situation and histrionics. The people who viewed the event were swayed by her theatrics and were unfair to the cops. I thought officer Morelli did more to give hope to those who were beginning to or have lost it than anything in recent memory. Kudos to you officer Morelli – I wish there a LOT more like you..

  • Dave in IL

    I agree with those who commend the cop and criticize the obvious douchebagginess of the guy filming. The cops were, by all appearances, making a lawful arrest. Then one cop actually came out to inform (rather than intimidate) bystanders. Give the man some credit.
    Here’s another problem I have with the camera man: Why is he constantly reminding the officers “she’s a girl,” as if they can’t see that. What a bunch of paternalistic crap. As if women cannot be dangerous when combative. I can tell you from my experience in the security field (mostly healthcare, with a little time in a Casino environment) that women can be extremely vicious fighters.
    For example, on one occasion, I attempted to detain a female in the hospital for kicking someone in front of me (since she committed an act of battery in front of me I was authorized to do that). In the struggle that followed, she bit into my deltoid (shoulder muscle). Very nasty injury, if you’ve never experienced a human bite. This was not an isolated incident, as I’ve been scratched, slapped and kicked by female suspects on more than a few occasions.
    So, the “she’s a girl” crap wouldn’t fly with me and I’m sure it didn’t mean shit to these officers. Its completely irrelevant and ignorant to bring that up in a situation like this. While I firmly support the right to film police and I think it may eventually change police culture for the better, photographers like this guy do a great disservice to the movement for police accountability by making the incident more about themselves than about making sure everyone is held accountable.
    Perhaps Carlos can find out who this camera man is and give him some pointers to help him overcome his self-importance and ignorance of police procedure.

    • Voice-Of-Concern


  • Al

    This incident happened in front of The Source located at 810 Upper Gage Ave
    Hamilton, ON L8V 4L8 and was filmed by employee Ali AlAbbudi The stores phone number is (905) 389-6238

  • Rose Lange

    This officer is not on trial. Just because some officers have used excessive force does not mean they all do. Whether on camera or not he did a fine job in this case. Take a harder look at the thief. What if it was you she was stealing from?

  • OhSnapDJB

    If ur gonna film, just film and shut up! And (like many have said below), let’s hope that these cops act the same way when NOBODY is filming.

  • Stephen

    I read this site all the time and am obviously appalled by the behavior of LE in most videos. But in this case, those are fabulous officers – you could tell they were not hurting her at all! She was out of hand and screaming and flailing to make it look bad. This is first, where it was the photographer in this case was interfering and being rude to them as they took the time to explain very well. Great law enforcement work – I wish every officer was like this guy – patient and empathetic – he rocked!

  • dravo1

    Actually a textbook demo of a good takedown of someone resisting arrest. Officer was basically using just enough force to counter the resistance. Hats off to a good guy (and his partner).

  • Susan J. Barretta

    The police officers remained calm, which is how it should be.

  • djsmelko

    Winy little bitch!

    • Neville Ross

      Please don’t assume anything more than it already was.

      • djsmelko

        What? huh? dafug??

        • Neville Ross

          Calling her that name that you just did-‘Winy little bitch’. Remember the same thing could happen to you one day, and it might no be so nice.

          • djsmelko

            Assuming that everyone’s a thief makes you a F^^^tard and no it won’t happen to me because I don’t plan on stealing anything! What happened to her was because of her own actions…

          • Neville Ross

            Hold on, I NEVER assumed that everyone’s a thief, sir, I meant that the same thing could happen to you by one of the crappy cops mentioned by Carlos on this blog previously for other things (taking a picture of cops, being in a protest, just sitting around in a way a cop doesn’t like.) Just because this cop was a nice guy and wasn’t an asshole doesn’t men that other cops won’t be, as the video of the Sammy Yatim shooting I’ve previously posted shows.

          • djsmelko

            I know what you meant, sorry. Most cops are assholes but not these 2, the guy filming was a dick, he just assumed they were going to kick her ass. What she really needed was a good old fashioned ass whipping from her mother.

          • Neville Ross

            She doesn’t need that either.

  • Ray186

    I’m a big critic of cops and even I have to say The officer is to be commended. As for the guy filming I almost missed the part where the officer calls him out for being a companion of the suspect. Nothing he says is credible.

  • PoliceStudy

    I study criminology and learn about this stuff a lot. There are more police officers like this than people think, just people only ever gather evidence about the bad ones. That’s what primarily leads people to assume all or most cops are bad people or annoying thugs. The reality is completely different.

    Most cops will only ever use force if they have to, it’s just the odd few that don’t and they give the public a bad image about police. In the end, if you don’t break the law then there is a 99.9% chance you wont have to deal with the police, so don’t worry about it. And yes, some people will obviously tell me here that I don’t know how the real world works and that these cops are few and far between… these people obviously haven’t seen what I have because I know from seeing police on a regular basis, as well as having seen at least a hundred arrests go down, that these are the facts.

    Unfortunately a lot of people will ignore this. I give thanks to the police in this video for showing the world what primarily happens in these scenarios.

    • ProudGrandPa

      Do you think if Carlos or other websites had videos of positive examples of how to treat photogs that it would be a good example to new cops? Could it be a training tool?

      • PoliceStudy

        That’s entirely possible. Usually police are trained extremely well as it is, and in relatively few places they aren’t. Plus, as part of their training, I know that they have to do role plays of certain situations to make sure that they know exactly what to do when that situation arrives. Obviously some will still make the wrong choices, but that can happen. Although the video may help, I think it would be just as important to show potential officers the reactions from the public for videos like this, as the vast majority are impressed with how these police handled the situation.

        On the vast majority part, I do have to single out Difster, who obviously must have dealt with the terrible officers before and is letting those experiences cloud his judgement. It’s either that or he’s an ignorant pessimist. Could be either one, however I would prefer to think it’s the former because that means he actually has a base for his argument.

    • Difster

      You people are naive. Those behind the thin blue line have no interest in our opinions of them. They are the enemy and should be treated as such until they prove otherwise consistently across the entire spectrum of law enforcement.

      • effing transplants

        and it’s posts like this that make it easy to dismiss you as an ignorant blowhard with a chip on his shoulder. Piss off, mate.

  • ProudGrandPa

    Excellent! This is what police should do. They are in the people business. I respect the way this was handled.


    Carlos wrote: Hopefully police will see that a little transparency goes a long way

    Please send them an appreciative email for excellence. We want to encourage this behavior.
    Carlos, might you start a treasury of proper, positive videos of how police should treat the public and photogs? This would be useful for training LEOs.

  • Jim Pook

    As a Canadian, I’m proud of this cop. I wish we had more like him. Instead, we get a whole town in Highwater, Alberta who think they have the right to break and enter 1,900 dwellings to seach and sieze close to 1,000 firearms and 250,000 rounds of ammo, when the entire town has been evacuated due to floods.
    Note to RCMP: Just because my carpets are wet, the Canadian Charter of Rights is not null and void. Unless you have a warrant or see an emergency situation through the windows, keep the hell out of my home.

    • ArthurPaliden

      Yep, better it was done by a looter.

  • Jer

    I can’t help but laugh when there are still comments criticizing the cops, if a criminal is resisting to that degree, no matter the gender, force can and should be used. You have no one to blame but yourself by breaking the law.

  • Doug Clayton

    The cop should really learn more submission holds if anything. That hot mess of a girl deserved to be treated the way she was. Well done officers. Wish the photographer would have just shut the F up. “It’s cold… it’s cold…” No it’s not! “Want to go inside?”, wtf!
    Why not invite the officer for wine and a candlelight dinner and do some scrapbooking? I hope he was trampled by livestock later that day. what a little nudge…

    • Pat Lane

      “submission holds” like choke holds are often a no go. Of course there are other effective techniques that could be used, but those take time to learn and must be practiced. And, even when practiced, aren’t always easy to apply to someone wearing thick civilian clothes like jackets.

  • Smacker

    Great cop. I wish all of them were like this one.

  • Haggie

    If there is a good reason for police brutality, that chick is a perfect example. She deserved pepper spray and multiple taser shocks.

    • northeaster17

      Take a deep breath….Exhale

    • Voice-Of-Concern

      the obvious troll is obvious

  • AssHat900

    Probable just misses her old glasses.

  • Ali

    Well done. This time I must side with the cops, I believe they did the best they could with the situation!

  • Ellizzz

    that girl was such a drama queen. she made it seem so much worse. if she would have just taken the arrest she wouldnt have been treated like that.
    the cops did their job and they even stayed around after to explain why they did, which they shouldn’t even have to

  • Michael Carter

    The woman was stupid for shoplifting in the first place…….

  • input

    What’s additionally annoying is how the cameraman keeps reminding the officer that the suspect is a girl. So… girls are too stupid to understand the law, and the cops should have let her go after she committed a crime just because she cried? I don’t think so. Police brutality should be documented and reported, but that is not the case here. He was handling an out of control suspect with much care. I bet if the suspect had been a man the officers would have used pepper spray.

  • Fred P!

    Great job by these officers. What was the idiot with the camera thinking? “She’s a girl!” Oh, really? So we should just let any female criminal who resists just go free? Because she is small and not as strong as the cop? What a clown. That was a great display of police restraint in my opinion.

  • Ed McGuire

    I think on this one Carlos (Or whoever was videotaping,sounds like Carlos though), You were out of line, That girl was playing the crowd like a fiddle.
    Resisting arrest doesn’t always have to be flagrant swinging or kicking, I could tell by this video that the Police did a Fantastic job at being restrained, Better restrained than the crowd.
    almost a mob mentality on this one.
    Sorry, Police1 Suspect 0

  • Guest

    This girl was out of control and clearing NOT being hurt. The cops were more than patient with her and the guy giving them a 1000 questions while they cops were trying to detain this annoying girl.

    In the US the guy asking the never ending questions would have been beaten to a bloody pulp and probably even shot to death because in the US cops are not to be questioned for any reason and if they are, the sentence is an immediate beat down or death. It just depends on the cops mood for the day. If they are in the mood to kill, they kill, if they just need a punching bag you get beaten.