A girl cosplaying as a “Stormtrooper” in a store promotion for May the fourth–relating to Star Wars–was arrested by police in a dramatic video as she carried a prop gun as Canada recently bans assault rifles.
According to Lethbridge News Now, Alberta police were called out to two 911 firearms complaints–which later turned out to be the a toy blaster.
Recounting the event, Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina–the store responsible for the promotion–Owner, Bradley Whalen, said:
“We had music playing in the parking lot, we had one of our staff dress up as a stormtrooper kind of waving to people walking up and down the road, we had people stopping by and getting pictures with the stormtrooper, we put a couple of promotions on in the restaurant to entice people to come.”
The video had reached Twitter, introduced in a tweet that read: “Unbelievable, just got video of this. *What the hell happened to common sense: Girl dressed up as a stormtrooper on may4th facing 3 cops with weapons drawn. You can hear her sobbing. I USED TO dress up with the 501st. Probably not anymore.”
Unbelievable, just got video of this.
*What the hell happened to common sense:
Girl dressed up as a stormtrooper on may4th facing 3 cops with weapons drawn. You can hear her sobbing. I USED TO dress up with the 501st. Probably not anymore @KinelRyan @DDayCobra #FandomMenace https://t.co/x2HrNLMtOL pic.twitter.com/YrS9bBFJVn
— X E V I U S S 💬 (@xeviuss) May 5, 2020
The tweet has begun to go viral, drawing much negative attention toward the police for their handling of the incident.
Although no injuries could be confirmed, the girl could be heard sobbing in the footage as it was revealed that she was bloodied during the arrest.
Whalen, recalling the incident, continued:
“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.”
Commenters on social media were taken aback by the footage. Some resorted to humor, while others called out the police’s actions.
“No civilian needs to own an imperial blaster rifle. They’re more dangerous than an AR-15!” one joked.
Another chimed in: “And now I understand why people hate cops… This was an unnecessary reaction and abuse of power. Why did they do this?”
A third remarked: “I’m equally concerned with the “multiple 911 calls stating there was someone with a firearm” by the busybodies who apparently believe Stormtroopers and blasters are real & a threat. It’s common knowledge that they can’t hit anything, anyway.”
To which a fourth replied: “With the recent ban, it proved most Canadians don’t know what guns look like, just like most Americans don’t. It’s ignorant fearmongering from authoritarians that led to this.”
Canada appears to be on edge following the banning of assault rifles shortly after the worst mass shootings in the country’s history.