Police in Waterloo have come under fire over a video of a Black teenager getting held to the ground by three officers during an arrest.

The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) has since issued a statement about the video.

According to WRPS, the 15-year-old was accused of trespassing, uttering threats, and spitting on the ground near the officers at Fairview Park Mall on October 3.

The video, posted by Instagram account KW Rising on Tuesday, currently has over 17,500 views.

Bystanders can be heard shouting "assault" at the officers. "He's fifteen" a voice cries, before an officer orders the person with the camera to stand back. 

Comments on the video blast the officers for excessive force and lack of mask usage.

Police addressed the accusations in a statement to Narcity, reminding the public that "what they are seeing on social media is a short clip of the entire incident."

Why was the teenager arrested by Waterloo police on October 3?

On Tuesday, Waterloo police provided an explanation about the arrest of the 15-year-old Kitchener resident.

According to WRPS, officers responded to a call at Fairview Mall Park at approximately 6 p.m. on Saturday for reports of trespassing.

A group of males were reportedly refusing to leave the mall after being asked to do so.

"Upon arrival, all but one male agreed to leave the area," said police.

"As the officer attempted to speak with the male, the male walked onto Kingsway Drive into lanes of traffic, yelling insults, swearing, and making threats towards the officer."

"The officer requested backup and once again attempted to walk towards the male, at which point the male proceeded to spit at the officer."

Police say the male attempted to run away but was arrested and charged shortly afterward.

What are Waterloo police accused of during the October 3 arrest?

The arresting officers are facing criticism over what some are calling excessive force.

There are also questions surrounding the fact that none of the officers are seen wearing masks or face coverings, despite not maintaining six feet of distance.

According to KW Rising, "friends and family are outraged with the use of force and the lack of face masks." 

What was Waterloo police's response to the accusations?

"We would like to remind the public that what they are seeing on social media is a short clip of the entire incident and we encourage anyone who may have additional video to please call police,” said Cst. André Johnson to Narcity.

Regarding the lack of mask usage, WRPS told Narcity that "there may not have been enough time" to put one on in this particular situation.

"Under normal circumstances officers are required to wear masks, but in a dynamic situation such as this - which included a struggle — there may not have been enough time to don a mask."

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