Three police officers of Lethbridge, Canada are under investigation after pulling their guns on a woman wearing a stormtrooper costume, complete with a plastic blaster.
According to CTV News, the 19-year-old woman — identified as Ashley — was wearing the costume in the course of her work as an employee of Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina, a Star Wars-themed restaurant that had opened right before the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The restaurant was promoting its special May the 4th drive-by and takeaway menus with a dancing stormtrooper.
In the video, Ashley can be seen dropping the blaster and trying to get on the ground as the officers surround her but being unable to do so due to the rigidity of the costume. The officers then push her down, remove the helmet, handcuff her and pat down the stormtrooper costume. At the same time as Ashley’s boss Brad Whalen, the owner of the Cantina, screamed to the police that Ashley was holding a plastic gun, the author of the video approached the officers to tell them the same thing. The police, however, instructed him to stay back and not interfere.
Lethbridge’s Chief of Police has opened an investigation into the actions of the responding officers to evaluate whether their response was appropriate, given the seriousness with which the Canadian police takes firearm reports. Canada is still recovering from April’s Nova Scotia massacre, where a man went on a killing spree, murdering 22 people and prompting the Canadian government to banish all assault weapons.
Although the police didn’t press charges, Whalen claims that Ashley got a bloody nose and expressed his astonishment at the situation. “Sometimes you really have to use common sense,” Whalen said. “When all the things fit in the box — you’ve got the signs, you’ve got the music, the atmosphere.”
A woman dressed as a Star Wars stormtrooper to promote a restaurant on May 4 was handcuffed by police after someone reported her fake blaster.