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This Video Shows Toronto Cops Intimidating A Witness During A Violent Arrest

An officer also made a troubling comment about AIDS.

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Toronto Police are conducting an internal investigation after a video of an arrest on Monday captured officers intimidating the man filming the scene and making a troubling comment about AIDS.

In the video, obtained by CityNews, several officers are seen gathered around a man lying facedown on the ground. An officer then fires a Taser device at the man.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Police arrest and Taser suspect after female cop allegedly assaulted

"He’s down and they Tase him?" says the man recording, whom CityNews has identified as Waseem Khan.

A few moments later, one of the male officers yells "stop resisting" as a Taser is fired again. The officer can also be seen kicking the man's upper leg.

The same officer then looks up and says, "Get that guy out of my face please," referring to Khan.

That's when a female officer approaches Khan and says, "If you’re a witness then we’re going to be seizing your cellphone."


It is lawful for citizens to record police actions, and officers have no grounds to seize a cellphone.


Another male cop then tells Khan, "He’s going to spit in your face, you’re going to get AIDS," adding "Stop recording or I'm going to seize your phone as evidence, and you’re going to lose your phone."


The HIV virus cannot be transmitted via saliva. As Xtra pointed out, police cannot reveal a person's HIV status unless certain conditions have been met. Or, if the cop was unaware of the suspect's HIV status, he was profiling the suspect.

Police spokesperson Mark Pugash would not comment on any aspect of the arrest or video because "there is now an ongoing investigation." He instead referred BuzzFeed Canada to previous comments made to the media.

Alanna Rizza/The Eyeopener / Via

According to Global News, police had been called to a homeless shelter about a man spitting at a staff member. Upon arrival, a female officer was allegedly assaulted by the suspect, as was a civilian who tried to help.

Police say the suspect also kicked out the window of a police cruiser.

CityNews has identified the suspect as Andrew Henry, who now faces nine charges.

Pugash told CityNews the Taser use was justified, and that the suspect had an officer's hand in his mouth.

“He wouldn’t disengage and that’s why they Tasered him a second time," Pugash told CityNews.

Pugash also said the officers were indeed intimidating Khan with threats to seize his phone.

UPDATE: Toronto Police issued an apology on Twitter late Wednesday for the "AIDS" comment.

1st step in righting a wrong: @TPS51Div officer's comment simply wrong. You cannot get HIV/AIDS from spit. We're #sorry. ^vk

The tweets said an expert will be brought in to educate officers about HIV/AIDS.

2nd step in righting a wrong: @TPS51Div will bring in outside HIV/AIDS expert to educate their officers. ^vk

And they reiterated that an investigation is underway.

3rd step in righting a wrong: A Professional Standards/Internal Affairs investigation into @TPS51Div incident is underway. ^vk

Lauren Strapagiel is Managing Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at

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