A 19-year-old woman was arrested on May 4th after she dressed as a Star Wars stormtrooper in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Every year, May 4th is the official Star Wars Day, and it’s a fantastic time for people to show off their fandom for the long-running franchise. Star Wars Day falls on May the 4th because of the play on words with “May the Fourth be with you.”
The woman, whose name has not been officially released, dressed as a stormtrooper while carrying a prop plastic gun. She was working at Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina, a Star Wars-themed restaurant at the time of the incident. The 19-year-old was tasked to wave at people passing by the business because it was Star Wars Day, the Calgary Herald reported.
The teenager was arrested around 11 a.m. on Monday after the Lethbridge Police Service received two 911 calls about the woman carrying the gun.
At Least Three Officers Drew Their Guns at the Woman Dressed as a Stormtrooper
A video of the arrest was taken by a Twitter user who uses the alias “Xeviuss.” Watch the clip below:
Bradley Whalen, the owner of Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina, said to Lethbridge News Now that the police told the woman to kneel multiple times, but she had difficulty because of the stormtrooper costume. Whalen said:
Police officers had guns drawn, pointed at my employee. They were yelling at her to put the gun down so she threw the plastic gun on the ground. At that point in time when I came out, she was on her knees kneeling down on the ground. The police had already checked and seen that the gun was plastic so they already knew that there wasn’t an issue or a risk there.
After she kneeled to the ground, officers “pushed the individual down to the ground” and handcuffed her, Lethbridge Police Service (LPS) Inspector Jason Walper told Lethbridge News Now.
The 19-year-old received a bloody nose as a result of being pushed to the ground. She was taken into custody but was later released without charges.
The Lethbridge Police Service Has Opened Up an Internal Investigation After the Incident
The Lethbridge Police Service has opened up an internal investigation after the arrest, according to the Calgary Herald’s report. The police department took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce the news:
According to the Lethbridge Police Service’s statement:
Upon reviewing the file and additional information, including video circulating on social media, Chief Scott Woods has directed a service investigation under the Alberta Police Act that will look into whether the officers’ acted appropriately within the scope of their training and LPS policies and procedures.
Once the investigation is complete, the police department will update the public on the outcome.
Many individuals on social media, as well as Whalen, believe that the police did not respond in an appropriate way. The business owner told the Calgary Herald: “We don’t have an issue with the fact that police responded. We have an issue with how they responded.”
Whalen said, “You could tell by looking at it, even 10 feet away, that it was a plastic toy,”
“Something has to happen,” Whalen told the media outlet. “We have been contacted by lawyers who are wanting to help us.”