After going missing, man seen in video of violent Saskatoon arrest found safe
SASKATOON -- The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) says Evan Penner, the Indigenous man who was pepper-sprayed, punched and tasered during an arrest by Saskatoon police that was captured on video, has been found safe.
“Evan Penner was located this morning. He is physically healing and his family is working on ensuring his mental health and wellbeing are also taken care of,” FSIN spokesperson Larissa Burnouf said in an email.
Penner went missing Monday afternoon after he was released on bail and the FSIN and his supporters said they could not find him.
Penner was arrested by police Saturday at around 2 p.m. after a report of a suspicious man in the 500 block of 11th Street East.
A video of the arrest was released on Monday by the Indigenous Joint Action Coalition and Black Lives Matter Saskatoon, with members of the groups alleging that excessive force was used.
In the video, an officer is seen pinning Penner to the ground and striking him multiple times during his arrest before being joined by several police officers who take additional measures, including the use of a Taser.
According to Saskatoon Police Service (SPS), the 27-year-old caused damage to a property and an officer attempted to take him into custody but he resisted and attempted to disarm the officer.
SPS confirmed that pepper spray and a Taser, were used during the arrest, but said both measures proved ineffective.
Also, SPS said Penner was experiencing addictions and related mental health issues during the arrest.
Frank Collins, a nearby neighbour who recorded the video of Penner's arrest said at the time Penner was trying to use a garden hose to cool off from the heat at the adjacent apartment and called the arrest "excessive."
The resident of the home where the incident happened, who didn't want to be named, told CTV News she believed Penner was harmless and was fine sitting in her backyard out of the sun and in the shade.
Penner faces several charges including assaulting a police officer, disarming a police officer, mischief and possession of a controlled substance.
Initially, SPS said an officer involved in the arrest had been placed on leave following the incident.
However, on Wednesday, SPS clarified by saying the officer has been given time away from work, as is routine practice in certain scenarios.
"This is standard procedure in serious, critical incidents where a debrief of an occurrence is scheduled. The member is asked to take a few shifts off with consideration for their mental health," SPS said a statement to CTV News.
On Tuesday, Saskatoon Police Association president Dean Pringle said the organization believes a "fulsome investigation" will show the officers involved in the arrest acted appropriately.