An elderly Korean couple are speaking out about how they were treated by Coquitlam RCMP after a video of the incident went viral.
Seventy-eight year old Myung Ju Lee was shown being dragged down the stairs by an officer after police were called to the local Best Western hotel on Oct. 26.
“Then the police come in and grab my arm, and twist it, then.. push the stairs.”
Police were originally called after reports that a fight had broken out at a regular strata meeting. RCMP said in a statement following the incident that the couple had refused to leave the site at the time.
Myung Ju’s wife, Kap Su Lee, was also restrained by officers and says she was left with bruises. Their five-year-old granddaughter was with them the entire time, she can be seen screaming and crying throughout the video footage. The young girl is living with her grandparents full time so that she can attend school in Vancouver while her parents live in Edmonton.
Myung Ju says in an interview with Global News that after he was taken into the police car, he fell unconscious.
He says he also had his arm twisted and was kicked by officers, including a knee to the chest.
The couple were taken to hospital where they say they stayed until 7 a.m. the next day. Myung Ju says they felt targeted specifically by officers and didn’t know why they were being arrested.
“Why do you hit me, why do you hit me? I ask him several, several times. No answer at all.”
Myung Ju says there were many other people in attendance at the time, and he didn’t understand why officers were grabbing he and his wife specifically.
“This is almost one hundred people in this room. Why, we are senior! Why do you hit me and my wife…why?”
What should happen moving forward?
An external investigation has been requested to be completed by the New Westminster Police department. Officials say the investigation will cover all aspects of the altercation to determine what exactly occurred.
Superintendent Sean Maloney with Coquitlam RCMP says a review into the actions of the officers involved has been initiated, and asks for the public’s understanding to give time for it to take place.
Police have not released updates on whether charges against the couple are still being investigated.
Myung Ju says he would like to see the officer who dragged him down the stairwell lose his job.
“They are not policemen, they are gangsters… [he should be] fired, and apologize to me, and compensation for my physical and mental.”
The couple have provided a statement to Coqutilam police and say they will be getting a lawyer.
CKNW has reached out to the Independent RCMP Review Board for further comment.