A still from the video of a Halifax Regional Police officer threatening to shoot a Black man. — DeRico Symonds/Twitter

A Halifax Regional Police officer has been placed on administrative duties after he was caught on video threatening to shoot a Black man during what the police called a weapons call in the municipality on Friday night.

Just after this story was originally published*, Halifax Regional Police issued a statement attributed to Chief Dan Kinsella.

“The comments that appear to have been made by our officer in the video were unacceptable,” the statement said.

“An internal investigation has been initiated into the incident. The officer involved has been placed on administrative duties, pending the conclusion of the investigation.”

DeRico Symonds shared the video on Twitter on Saturday afternoon:

What is @DanKinsellaHRP @HfxRegPolice and SIRT going to say about this? What you are watching is a white officer pointing a gun at a black male in Halifax with his hands up. The officer says “I will shoot you for a fucking laugh”. I want a dismissal or the apologies meant nothing pic.twitter.com/Oi7t509Umf

— DeRico Symonds (@DericoSymonds) March 27, 2021

The video shows a Halifax Regional Police officer with his gun drawn and pointed at a Black man with his hands up, circling a pickup truck. The officer threatens to kill the man, but Symonds misheard what he said.

“I will fill you full of fuckin’ lead,” the officer said. “Stop fuckin’ walking.”

“You’re not allowed to fuckin’ shoot me in my back for no reason,” the man replied.

Then the man runs away. The officer starts to chase him, still pointing his gun, but he doesn’t shoot and doesn’t continue to chase the man.

Halifax Regional Police quote-tweeted Symonds, saying “We have just become aware of this video and are asking anyone with information on the date or location of this incident to please DM or call us with the details. As we look into this matter, it would be helpful to have those specifics in a timely manner.” Police Chief Dan Kinsella retweeted that tweet.

But the police either knew or should have known the exact date and location of this incident.

Halifax Regional Police sent an email release to media on Friday night at 7:50pm, with the headline “Police Investigate Weapons call and arrest a suspect with a firearm:”

At 6:00 p.m., Halifax Regional Police responded to a Weapons complaint in the 200 block of Wentworth Drive Halifax.  Multiple Patrol officers quickly secured the area taking three adult males into custody.  A forth [sic] male fled on foot.  Incidental to arrest a 30-year-old male was found to be in possession of narcotics and a firearm inside a vehicle.  One of the three males arrested did sustain minor injuries prior to police arrival, but declined medical treatment.  A Police Service Dog attempted to track the forth male but was not been able to locate the male.  There is no description to provide of the male that fled on foot at this time.  Officers have seized a vehicle for a search warrant.

Investigators with the Integrated Criminal Investigation Division and Forensic Identification Section are conducting the investigation which is in the early stages.  The 30-year-old male is expected to be facing drug and firearm related charges.

The video shows this incident.

There’s only one building in the 200 block of Wentworth Drive: 210 Wentworth. Google Streetview, though dated, shows buildings matching those in the video.

The Halifax Examiner has asked the police:

  • Does this video show the man fleeing mentioned in last night’s watch commander report? (#21-35872)
  • Why are police on Twitter asking for the public to tell them where and when this happened if it’s that incident?
  • Did the officer not fully inform his supervisors of what happened? Who is the officer?
  • Has SIRT been contacted?

We’ll update this post when they respond.

*Update, Mar. 27, 2021:

Just after this story was originally published, Halifax Regional Police issued the following statement, attributed to Kinsella:

Earlier today, a video surfaced on social media platforms involving one of Halifax Regional Police officers. We have since identified the incident that took place on March 26, and can confirm that the circumstances surrounding this particular incident involved a high-risk situation involving drugs and weapons offences. The comments that appear to have been made by our officer in the video were unacceptable. An internal investigation has been initiated into the incident. The officer involved has been placed on administrative duties, pending the conclusion of the investigation.

We recognize that any such incident can be deeply damaging to police community relations. We are committed to a full investigation and ask members of the public to allow for due process to take place.


The Halifax Examiner is an advertising-free, subscriber-supported news site. Your subscription makes this work possible; please subscribe.

Some people have asked that we additionally allow for one-time donations from readers, so we’ve created that opportunity, via the PayPal button below. We also accept e-transfers, cheques, and donations with your credit card; please contact iris “at” halifaxexaminer “dot” ca for details.

Thank you!




Zane Woodford

Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Only subscribers to the Halifax Examiner may comment on articles. We moderate all comments. Be respectful; whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims. Please read our Commenting Policy.
Cancel reply