Outside police agency to review how officers handled run-in with costumed worker

Outside police agency to review how officers handled run-in with costumed worker

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — An outside police agency is to investigate the actions of officers who forced a restaurant worker in a “Star Wars” storm-trooper costume to the ground in southern Alberta.

The 19-year-old employee, who had agreed to don the white uniform of a Galactic Empire soldier and carry a plastic gun, ended up with a bloody nose.

Lethbridge police said earlier this week that the costumed woman dropped the toy weapon, but didn’t get down on the ground when officers responding to a firearms call asked her to do so.

Brad Whalen said it should have been obvious that the getup was a way to get attention for his Star-Wars-themed restaurant on May 4 — a popular day with fans of the movie franchise because of the famous line: “May the force be with you.”

He also said the costume makes it difficult to hear and move.

Lethbridge police say it’s been determined that their investigation was “out of scope,” so it has been assigned to the Medicine Hat Police Service.

They say the woman, who was not charged, had a minor injury that did not require medical attention.

A video of the encounter, shared on social media, shows an officer standing by the toy blaster while Whalen yells from the restaurant door that it’s fake.

“Star Trek” actor William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk in another mega-sci-fi movie and television franchise, tweeted boldly about his criticism of what happened.

“Captain’s Log Stardate 49: Sending my contempt this morning to the @lethpolice of Alberta, Canada & @LPSChief1. Rifles drawn for a plastic toy Cosplayer? Didn’t comply right away? Are you blind Chief? Watch the video to see how quickly she complied,” he posted Tuesday.

“This cannot be covered up.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2020

The Canadian Press

crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thanks to the wonders of a 3-D printer, staff at the Stettler Library have been able to produce ‘ear savers’ for medical masks

Looking ahead, re-opening is tentatively slated for June 19th if all goes according to plan

Plans in place for a different kind of graduation this year at Wm E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus

“They deserve to be celebrated for this milestone in their education.”

Only 13 new COVID-19 cases confirmed by Alberta gov’t Saturday

There’s currently only two active cases in province’s central zone

Central Alberta naturalists fear pristine headwaters will be contaminated by coal mine

Chutes of the Ram constitute one of Earth’s ‘most beautiful’ spots

Every Albertan eligible for COVID-19 testing

22 new cases confirmed on Friday

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

International student worry about pandemic as decisions loom on travel to Canada

Zohra Shahbuddin is weighing whether to enrol this fall or put off coming to Canada until next year

How finding a ministerial home for CMHC caused ‘madness’ in November

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. manages the national housing strategy

‘What do we do now?’ Labour dispute at Regina refinery nears 6 months

About 700 unionized workers were locked out by refinery owner, Federated Co-operatives Ltd., Dec. 5

Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court

Police need more than an unverified tip to avoid drug-case entrapment: top court

N.S. police received warnings in 2011 about man who would become mass killer

N.S. police received warnings in 2011 about man who would become mass killer

Trudeau acknowledges ‘anti-black racism’ in U.S., with ‘work to do in Canada’

Trudeau acknowledges ‘anti-black racism’ in U.S., with ‘work to do in Canada’

Want a mask with your Big Mac? Alberta handing out masks at drive-thrus

Want a mask with your Big Mac? Alberta handing out masks at drive-thrus

Most Read