U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- On 4 May, a small restaurant in Alberta, Canada was using a person with a Star Wars stormtrooper costume as a promotion. The Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina is located at 531 13th St. North, in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The promotion was on the unofficial Star Wars Day, “May the 4th be With You”.
The police in Lethbridge decided to do their own interpretation of stormtroopers.
The 19-year-old woman who was employed by the Cantina as a draw was assaulted by the police at gunpoint for having the temerity to wear her Storm Trooper costume with a plastic blaster. Most of the interaction was caught on video.
The police completely overreact, they drew guns on the young woman in the Star Wars costume and order her to get down. This is difficult to do in a hard plastic costume, as she attempts to explain. The Canadian police will have none of it, even after the restaurant owner tries to tell them it is a promotion.
There was no reason to require the woman to get down on the ground and be handcuffed after she puts down the toy gun.
When the videographer comes up to video the incident one of the police tells him to leave or he will be arrested. He backs off but continues to video. Then a police officer in police truck drives between him and the victim and blocks his recording angle.
The Canadian police appear to be carrying Sig equipment. The long gun used by the officer confronting the Storm Trooper looks like a Sig 551. The sights, flash hider, and fore-end are distinctive.
The police firearm has a flash hider, short barrel, pistol grip, folding stock, and standard 30 round capacity magazines. How does the Canadian police find all those things useful, when they are precisely the things Americans who want the public disarmed, find abhorrent?
The Lethbridge police use Sig P226 pistols in .40 caliber, according to Wikipedia.
The incident has drawn international attention. One commenter on the Lethbridge police Facebook page, Chris Laidlow, posted a clip of a Star Wars movie and made this comment:
You people are so pathetic and stupid. You humiliated our entire country and you dint even have the bells to apologize.
You are simply the worst.
Canadian police are considered to be more familiar with firearms than Australians. It made the news when Australian police took down a man walking on the beach with a 1/3 scale plastic, toy rifle. The Australian incident happened a year ago. The Australians had the excuse of a law requiring replica guns to be registered the same as real guns.
Perhaps that is anticipated in Canada. In the United States, those pushing for a disarmed population have been pushing for a ban on toy guns for decades. New York City banned black, blue, and silver toy guns in 1955.
It is reasonable for police to respond to a “man with gun” complaint. Requiring a promotional actor to get on the ground and be handcuffed after they have been disarmed of a plastic toy, and have been told it is a promotion; seems beyond reason.
The incident is being investigated by the Lethbridge police.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.