FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Ottawa Police Violently Restraining A Man?

Kenia Mazariegos | Contributor

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows a group of police officers in Canada aggressively restraining a man in public.

Verdict: False

The video took place in Portugal, not Canada. A spokesperson for Ottawa Police Service (OPS) stated the officers in the video are not theirs.

Fact Check

The Facebook video shows a man and a police officer engaging in a heated altercation, though it is unclear what the exchange was about. The officer then grabs the man by the neck and pushes him against a rail, while the man tries to remove the officer’s hand. Shortly after, three other officers attempt to restrain the man, with one of the officers punching the man repeatedly in the head.

“Ottawa Police: How many officers will we use to make you safe? It depends, this time it was four. The new NATZI (sic) brownshirts of Canada…..,” the captions of the video reads. (RELATED: Did Half Of Ottawa Police Recently Resign In Response To The ‘Freedom Convoy’?)

However, the video was taken in Portugal, not Canada. A reverse image search revealed the video first appeared on Twitter in February 2021 from a Twitter user in Amadora, Portugal. The account uploaded a second part of the video that shows the man being roughly placed on the ground as bystanders watch.

An article published in February 2021 confirmed an altercation took place in Portugal, according to Portuguese news outlet Dario De Noticias. The article includes images and videos of the same arrest and notes police had encountered people consuming alcoholic beverages on the public road. Police suspected the man in the video was in possession of narcotics and he reportedly had refused to submit to a summary search when confronted, according to the outlet.

Portugal’s Public Security Police (PSP) told the outlet that “doubts remain as to the compliance of the procedures for the use of force carried out” and that a disciplinary investigation had been initiated into the actions of the officers involved.

A spokesperson for Ottawa Police Service (OPS) told Check Your Fact in an email the police officers in the video are not Canadian, as the language on the uniforms of the officers in the video read “Policia” instead of “Police.”

Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim from February 2022 that suggested Ottawa police officers were exempt from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Kenia Mazariegos



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