UPDATE: Several protesters have clashed with Ottawa police on the eve of Canada Day right in front of the National War Memorial. Ottawa police have confirmed that four have been arrested.
Video captured by Andy Lee shows one man attempting to get away from officers being wrestled to the ground by three who then proceeded to slam his head into the stone sidewalk, with one officer ramming his knee into the back of the protester’s neck and shoulder. A fourth officer arrives and restrains the man’s legs as he begins to scream. and writhes in pain.
After being restrained, the man can be heard breathlessly pleading, “Tell me what to do. I want to cooperate.”
In another brawl, two officers can be seen taking another man down as a friend attempts to free him. Additional officers arrive as reinforcements and push him away. In the distance, a third man is arrested.
Several more police officers arrive and begin sectioning off the area.
In a separate video, the man who’d screamed in pain while being arrested can be seen being escorted into a police cruiser.
It is still unclear what brought about the ordeal or whether protesters or police were the first to get physical.
Ottawa police, however, say that one officer was choked during the confrontation, which led to a larger police presence thereafter.
“The initial investigation finds that an interaction with officers became confrontational and 1 officer was choked. Other officers immediately responded, 4 people were arrested,” Ottawa police wrote in a tweet.