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Video: Cops applauded for honesty after girl's arrest goes viral

Despite a hostile crowd, Hamilton (Ont.) officers stayed calm and addressed concerns on camera

By PoliceOne Staff

HAMILTON, Ontario — Cell phone video of two Hamilton cops arresting a woman for shoplifting has gone viral and has people applauding the officers’ professional and patient response to the public.

Officers Mark Morelli and Chantelle Wilson attempted for several minutes to subdue a woman who screamed and thrashed about as onlookers gathered, questioning why the police were arresting her.

Once Morelli placed the woman in the back of his squad, he caught his breath and explained to the crowd why they took the actions they did.

“Unfortunately, she decided to try to resist arrest ... and while it may look and appear to be something much worse than it is, it is only because she is resisting so violently and flailing around on the ground,” Morelli said. “I’m doing my best not to hurt that girl.”

Though the man filming remained skeptical, the video hit YouTube under the name “Honest Cops,” and the Hamilton police department received a huge wave of support.

“Thousands of emails and phone calls of support continue to pour into the Hamilton Police from all around the world,” the force wrote on Facebook. “We’re all committed as police officers to public safety. It’s not always easy, but with support like this, it is a reminder that you care as much as we do.”

Hamilton Police Chief Glenn De Caire said in a statement, “They maintained a calm response, using the appropriate use of force options during a stressful incident. Every day our officers deliver this type of excellence in policing when responding to hundreds of calls from our citizens.”

Hamilton media relations officer Debbie McGreal-Dinning confirmed that the woman is currently facing criminal charges, according to the Hamilton Spectator, but could not elaborate, citing the service’s policies against commenting on ‘domestic incidents.’

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