A video showing Tyler Canaris being bodyslammed by Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael McMaster in Georgia has gone viral.
The incident occurred in March 2022, but the video gained attention on Reddit and on social media in February 2023, after it was posted to YouTube by the account “Justice for Tyler Canaris.”
According to the video, Canaris, 30, was walking to work when he was stopped by police who said he matched the description of a wanted suspect. The video shows the deputy talking to Canaris before throwing him to the ground. The YouTube page that posted the video said Canaris suffered a fractured skull and broken collarbone and was hospitalized for nine days.
The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Gary Gulledge have not commented on social media about the video and the sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Heavy. The sheriff’s office’s Facebook page has been flooded with thousands of comments about the video and incident. Deputy Michael Mahlon McMaster also could not be reached for comment and deleted his Facebook page after the video went viral.
According to WSB-TV, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident. “We’re aware of the scrutiny and that’s why the Sheriff’s Office made the decision to contact the GBI and have them come in and conduct an investigation into this incident,” Paulding County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Ashley Henson told the news station. Henseon said McMaster is on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
Cochran has filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s office, according to the “Justice for Tyler Canaris” page. The criminal case against him is ongoing. The dashcam video, along with police reports and other documents, were released as part of the discovery process in the ongoing case, according to court records obtained by Heavy.
The Video Shows Deputy Michael McMaster Suplexing Tyler Canaris While They Talked in Front of His Patrol Vehicle
The dashboard camera video shows Deputy Michael McMaster driving down a road on March 4, 2022.
According to the police report obtained by Heavy, the incident occurred about 5:50 a.m. at the intersection of Evan Mills Drive and Camry Circle in Dallas, Georgia. McMaster accused Canaris in the arrest report of “refusing to follow commands and attempting to get arms away when being handcuffed.” Canaris lives in Dallas not far from where the incident occurred, according to the arrest report.
The video shows Canaris walking along the side of the road as McMaster pulls up to him. McMaster can be heard saying to Canaris, “Let me see your hands” and “Take your hands out of your pockets,” as Canaris appears to remove headphones from his ears.
McMaster can then be seen approaching Canaris and telling him to put his hands behind his back because he was going to be detained, before trying to take his backpack off. Canaris can be heard asking McMaster, “What am I doing?” and “Can you explain what this is for?” McMaster can be heard telling Canaris to take his backpack off or he would be “going to the ground.”
Canaris can be heard telling McMaster he is walking to work as the deputy grabs Canaris by the arm and leads him to the front of the patrol vehicle, pushing him up against it. McMaster then tells Canaris, who was holding a phone, to put his hands behind his back, as Canaris continues to ask why he is being stopped and detained. As Canaris asks, “Can you tell me what’s going on?”, McMaster tells him to put his hands behind his back and says, “Or you end up on the ground.”
The video then shows McMaster grabbing the phone from Canaris’ hand, before taking his backpack off. He then tells Canaris that he is being detained because he matches the description of someone suspected of breaking into people’s cars, the video shows.
McMaster then wraps his arms around Canaris’ midsection, lifts him off of the ground and suplexes him down onto the pavement, the video shows. Canaris can be heard moaning and screaming in pain as McMaster and another deputy, identified as Thomas Ogden in court records, handcuff him and drag him away.
One of the deputies can be heard telling him to “put his f****** hands behind your back,” and calling him a “dumb b******” as Canaris cries out for help.
The video shows McMaster searching through Canaris’ backpack, pulling out various objects after telling Canaris he was “under arrest for obstruction.” McMaster tells Canaris in the video, “You wouldn’t f***** listen. Put your hands behind your back. It’s that simple.” When firefighters arrive at the scene, McMaster can be heard telling them that he “dropped him on his head right there.”
The “Justice for Tyler Canaris” YouTube account wrote on a comment on its video, “For all people wondering why this took place it was a case of mistaken identity. The suspect looked similar and rather than de-escalate and ask proper questions the officer chose to be violent, the crime in question was theft from vehicles.”
Tyler Canaris Was Charged With Misdemeanor Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer in May 2022
According to Paulding County records viewed by Heavy, Tyler Canaris was charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer, a misdemeanor, on May 12, 2022. He was booked into custody at 6:35 p.m. and released at 7:32 p.m. after posting $1,000 bond, records show. The case remains pending.
In his arrest report, McMaster wrote that he was responding to a report of a man with dark clothing and a backpack trying to break into cars in the area. He wrote that the deputies had received two calls about it in 30 minutes. He said he spotted Canaris walking in the area and put on his blue lights.
McMaster wrote, “I informed Tyler multiple times that I would place him on the ground if he did not comply with my orders. Due to the lack of sun light, me being alone at the time and my knowledge of targeted items in entering autos, I gained control of Tyler and pushed him up against my patrol vehicle.”
He added, “Tyler was making movements with his hands I was unable to see due to the lack of sun light; my blue/white lights were extremely bright as well. I finally removed Tyler’s backpack from him and attempted to place hi in handcuffs. Tyler again attempted to loosen y grip and tried to turn around to face me. I still have not patted Tyler down for weapons at this point. Tyler’s left hand went towards his waist band, out of my view. I then gained control of Tyler and escorted him to the ground to better control him.”
McMaster wrote, “I wrapped my arms around Tyler’s waist locking one of his arms in and shifted his weight to get hi off balance. The surface of the road was black top and we were on a downward hill.” McMaster said he suffered injuries to his left arm and hand during the incident.
Canaris was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, McMaster wrote. He said Canaris “suffered a cranial fracture and a clavicle facture. Tyler had blood coming fro his left ear due to when he hit the ground he still had an ear bud inserted into his ear.”
The person who reported a possible car break-in told police that nothing was taken from his vehicle, according to the report. McMaster also noted in the report that the person in a video suspected of the break-in was wearing orange shoes, while Canaris was wearing square toe boots, but McMaster wrote, “It is plausible that Tyler was able to change his shoes prior to our contact.”
In his report, the other deputy, Ogden, wrote that when he arrived at the scene he saw “Deputy McMaster hip tossing a white male, who was later identified as Tyler Canaris. I observed Tyler’s feet in the air and then he hit the ground with Deputy McMaster falling on top of him.” He said he then got out of his car to help handcuff Canaris and “placed my knees on the small of the back.”
The report shows that an unknown suspect was wanted on a charge of criminal attempt to commit entering an automobile, a felony. Canaris was never charged with that crime or any offenses related to the attempted vehicle break-in, public records show, only obstruction.
The “Justice for Tyler Canaris” page added, “The footage is only now coming to light due to an ongoing lawsuit and the department is still trying to charge him with obstruction of officers. Tyler is an innocent victim and was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Clark Wilson shared the video on Facebook on February 16 and wrote, “This is my girlfriend’s step-brother walking out of his neighborhood to the corner gas station to carpool to work. He “matched a description” and this happened to him. The result? Fractured skull and broken collar bone and thumb. Every word Tyler said during this video was truthful.”
Wilson added, “They initially charged him with obstruction/resisting arrest, which they had dropped, but of course they have brought the charges back after he did eventually file suit against the department. I am beyond furious with the actions of this officer from Paulding County Sheriff’s Office. Also it is not proper to use your weapon light for visibility when there is no threat. USE A FLASHLIGHT!”
While the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia has been silent about the viral video, the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio issued a statement on Facebook to clarify the incident did not occur in its jurisdiction.
“To the citizens of Paulding County, Ohio, There is a video making its way around the internet involving a deputy sheriff and his use of force involving Tyler Canaris. This incident DID NOT occur in Ohio. This is an incident that occurred in Paulding County, Georgia,” Sheriff Jason Landers wrote. “My office has received nearly 100 threatening phone calls and emails over this incident. This message is simply to clarify my agency was not involved. The Paulding County, Georgia phone number is 770-443-3010.”