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No Reason for Force Applied to UWO Student by Police

October 16, 2009

Earlier this week, campus police at the University of Western Ontario arrested a student, Irnes Zeljkovic. The entire episode was filmed and placed on YouTube, attracting considerable attention from both within the school and across Canada.

Members of the legal community at UWO have also raised issue with the incident.

Ryan Venables, a first-year law student at Western who is a former police officer, wrote on a popular law site,

"After having viewed the video, and from my experiences and past training, I see NO REASON why one of the officers applied force to the middle and upper portions of Mr. Zeljkovic′s back and neck with his asp baton. Officers are trained to specifically NOT to use this hard impact weapon on areas where significant damage could be caused (i.e. neck, forearms, and head) because of the risk to the suspect."

Omar Ha-Redeye, a third-year law student at UWO took a different approach,

"This episode helps highlight how prevalent filming technology is, and how social media can assist transparency in law enforcement.
We can only presume that the campus police were aware that other students were monitoring the arrest, and tempered their conduct as a result."

The use of excessive force is an important public policy issue in light of the taser inquiry over Robert Dziekanski.


Analysis by former police officer:

For more information contact:
Omar Ha-Redeye
Phone: 226 448 6627

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