Yesterday’s testimony in the inquest into the death a man in police custody began with an account from an employee of Code 3 Security. The man, who worked as a security guard for the company, witnessed some of the interaction between the police and Larry McPherson on the morning of August 28th.

The guard, an employee of Code 3 Security, testified that he was called to the Shell station in the early hours of August 28th to respond to a complaint of a man striking the front glass of the station with a squeegee. The guard testified that he arrived at the scene after the man had left. The guard stated he then traveled down 100th St. until approximately 93rd Ave, where he saw the man later identified as McPherson and a police officer standing about 50 feet from each other. The guard said he saw McPherson attempt to escape from the officer, but the officer quickly took him down, causing McPherson to land on his front. The guard testified that the officer was unable to contain McPherson, who continued to struggle. In a matter of minutes, the guard said, other officers arrived to assist. Contrary to the earlier testimony of a taxi driver who witnessed the arrest, the guard said officers did not all pile on top of McPherson in a violent manner; instead, he suggested that they all come down to restrain him.

The guard then stated that as officers picked up McPherson to put him in a police vehicle, his head slumped and he ceased to struggle, so officers set him back down on the pavement. When asked by Inquest Council Mitch Houg, the guard also said he could not recall whether the officers had rendered first aid. The guard said that he departed the scene shortly after.

In his cross-examination, Attorney General representative Andrew Kemp asked the guard if he would classify the officer’s actions in getting McPherson into handcuffs as a “controlled takedown.” The guard agreed that the term was appropriate.