Claim: Man Committed Suicide After Coronavirus Lockdown Arrest Video Went Viral
A 24-year-old Canadian man allegedly committed suicide days after being arrested for breaking Chinese coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the province of Ontario.
Video of Toronto police arresting Moses Demian in Scarbrough went viral on Twitter and shared by Canadian media after it was posted on January 4th.
The video was taken on Saturday night and showed several people outside of a bubble tea cafe. Footage recorded Toronto police officers forcibly restraining a young man, later identified as Demian, and arresting him while he claimed he had done nothing wrong, the Toronto Sunreports.
An officer accused Demian of swearing at him when he asked for his identification, which young man refused to give. Demian can be heard accusing the officer of punching him in the face. “You are not supposed to be out right now, bud,” one of the officers said.
"You're not supposed to be out right now" – Toronto Police power trip using the Reopening Ontario Act to ID customers at Bontea Bubble Tea. pic.twitter.com/osDf0EazbP
— CrasHTalk (@CrasTalk) January 5, 2021
The Toronto Sun reported that Demian “allegedly” committed suicide within 48 hours of his arrest, and the footage of him being handled by police spreading on social media. According to police, Demian died at home on Monday and released a statement the following day describing the incident.
“Officers arrived to find a gathering of approximately 50 people and cars gathered in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act. Some members of this large gathering refused to disperse and did not comply with the officers’ orders, resulting in one person being criminally charged with Obstruct Police,” police said.
“During the arrest, the person stated they were in crisis. Officers responded immediately by taking the person to the hospital. The person was assessed by a doctor and released by the hospital to his family. The person had no further contact with the Toronto Police. Since then, we have learned the person died at their home in Durham Region on Monday, January 4, 2021,” they added.
The incident comes just after Ontario Premier and Progressive Conservative party leader Doug Ford put the entire province into a strict lockdown, beginning on December 26th.
Formerly hailed as an anti-elite populist, Premier Ford has imposed strict lockdowns on parts of the province since the outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus, primarily in the city of Toronto and its surrounding area.
Number of People Feeling Suicidal Tripled During Lockdown: Report https://t.co/tpx8d7XiSu
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 10, 2020
Ford’s cabinet has also been rocked by scandal in recent days relating to the lockdowns after it was revealed that his Finance Minister Rod Phillips had gone on a two-week vacation to the Caribbean despite Ontario guidelines telling people to avoid non-essential travel.
Phillips later resigned as finance minister just hours after returning from his vacation.
According to data from the British Royal College of Psychiatrists, the number of people with thoughts of self-harm or suicide has tripled in the UK during the coronavirus lockdowns.