In a fun Star Wars Day promotion gone wrong, a 19-year-old restaurant employee was nearly arrested by police in Canada simply for wearing a Stormtrooper costume.
It all started when the employee was trying to draw business to the Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina in Lethbridge, Canada. Ironically, the business is Star Wars themed and the owner is disputing the police account of what occurred during the incident. Two cops responded to reports of someone in a Stormtrooper costume walking around with an actual weapon. While the employee was acting normal and not doing anything threatening or carrying an actual gun, the cops demand that she get on her knees. The situation escalated from there until someone blocked the scene with a police car to stop people from recording. Thankfully, an eagle eyed citizen captured most of the incident and the video quickly made the rounds on social media. Check out the incident below, shared by this Twitter user.
The cops stated that the employee refused to comply but her boss, Bradley Whalen, argued that it’s obviously hard to hear and maneuver in a Stormtrooper outfit. The employee was taken into custody but released without charge.
The Great Debate
Canadians were understandably on edge after Canada experienced its worst mass shooting ever in Nova Scotia, killing 22 people. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded to the tragedy by banning assault rifles. According to a report by The New York Times, Trudeau said the Canadian government had actually already been working on until the coronavirus pandemic changed priorities. However, does that justify overreacting against someone who was clearly in costume?
Gun laws may be very different in Canada as opposed to the United States, but the Stormtrooper incident demonstrated two hot button topics. Police brutality and gun violence are certainly two issues that the United States are sadly too familiar with, but the response from the Canadian cops involved in the incident demonstrated the power of social media. Had a video not been captured, many people would more than likely side with the cops, who stood by their statement that the employee refused to comply. However, after viewing the video, it’s obvious that the actual incident occurred more like Whalen described.
This is one Star Wars Day gone terribly wrong. Thankfully, the employee did not have to go to the hospital and the cops in question are under investigation.