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This past weekend I witnessed something that has been bothering me ever since. During the Grand Street Parade at the 80th Annual Apple Blossom Festival, a bare chested man, who appeared to be on drugs, was walking down the sidewalk with a police officer following him. The Kentville Police officer then pulled out his billy club and started yelling at the man to lay on the ground. The man didn’t comply with the request and said he was just walking, and told the cops to leave him alone. The cop again shouted at him to lay on the ground. At this point another cop entered the area and the two cops together tackled the man and took him to the ground. In the struggle, there was a little girl sitting with on a lawn chair who was knocked out of her lawn chair, and landed on her face on the sidewalk. The little girl, who was probably only 3 or 4 years old, was bleeding quite badly from the nose, and was obviously shaken up.
My question is this. Why did the cops feel they had to enter into an altercation with the man in the middle of a parade, which was densely populated with people, many of which were young kids. Now I have to admit, that I have no idea what the man did for the police to be following him in the first place, but at the time this altercation, the man was just walking away and not posing any immediate danger to anyone around him. Why couldn’t he have been followed to a less populated part of the parade, or waited until there was enough of a police presence that a struggle such as this wouldn’t occur? I imagine the man will be charged with resisting arrest, and I know it isn’t an excuse, but any person who is all hopped up on some sort of drugs would probably reacted in the same way (struggled), when surprised by a police officer from the side, while another police officer was yelling at him with a billy club drawn from the front.
Now don’t get me wrong. The man who showed up to the parade under the influence of drugs is certainly at fault as well. If he would have complied with the cops request to get on the ground any of the half dozen times that he was asked to do so, this wouldn’t have happened. Hell, the fact that he showed up at the Apple Blossom Grand Street Parade at all in the state he was in, is grounds enough to arrest him, regardless of what he did prior the police following him. There is no place for drugs on the streets at any time, let alone at a parade which is aimed at families and kids. Examples should be made of those people who show up high to a kids parade. I just think the cops could have used much better judgment in ensuring that all bystanders weren’t at risk during the arrest.