News / Vancouver

Black athlete tasered and arrested after jaywalking in Vancouver

Police charge former Thunderbird football player who alleges officers 'acted out of fear,' racism

Jamiel Moore-Williams, former UBC Thunderbirds football player

Courtesy UBC Thunderbirds

Jamiel Moore-Williams, former UBC Thunderbirds football player

Vancouver police are charging a former University of B.C. football player, who is Black, with obstruction and resisting arrest after he was tasered and arrested early Sunday morning after jay-walking in front of a police car.

Jamiel Moore-Williams, 22, was arrested and taken into custody on Granville Street, according to reports by CTV News, which posted a video shot by William-Moore’s friend, showing at least six police officers surround the athlete and throw him to the ground.

In the video, an officer standing about three feet away from Moore-Williams is seen holding a taser, and while other officers struggle to pin Moore-Williams to the ground – several kicking and hitting him — the officer approaches and tasers him.

With tears rolling down his cheeks, Moore-Williams said the police over-reacted, and raised concerns of racism.

“I’m a big black male crossing the street and they acted out of fear rather than doing their job," he told CTV News. "What are they scared of?”

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Vancouver police said two officers were sitting in their car before the incident, and beeped their horn to alert him to oncoming traffic. Then, the VPD claimed, he turned towards the car and gave the officers two middle fingers.

At that point, police got out of their car and approached him, said Deputy Chief Const. Howard Chow.

“His response was confrontational,” Chow alleged. “It was explained to him very clearly and very calmly in terms of why he was being stopped…(and that) they were in their lawful authority to stop him and ask for his ID.

“He resisted, he would not provide his ID. This was ongoing for quite some time, I understand the gentleman's friends were also asking him to provide his ID and he refused.”

Moore-Williams could not be reached for comment.

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