- The Washington Times - Monday, January 4, 2021

Canadian police were seen breaking up a private family gathering for violating coronavirus-related restrictions in a video that has gone viral.

Police in Gatineau, Quebec, said they were called to the family’s home on New Year’s Eve after receiving an anonymous complaint from a neighbor, and that they found six adults and one child from different households gathering in the home, which is prohibited under current lockdown orders.

Police said they arrested two people and gave all six adults a fine of $1,000 Canadian dollars, plus $546 Canadian dollars in fees, for violating a public health law, CNN reported.

A video of the situation, which has racked up more than 5 million views on Twitter, showed a man being forcefully pulled out of the home by officers. At least two of the officers were not wearing masks in the video. A woman is also seen being handcuffed outside.

Police said in a tweet that the video was only an “excerpt” of the intervention and that the individuals were recalcitrant and refused to cooperate. The man in the video, according to police, had hit an officer in the face several times.

Gatineau police spokesperson Renee Anne St. Amant told Radio-Canada in an interview that “the situation just got worse” after the owner of the home initially refused to identify herself, the CBC reported.

Mathieu Tessier, who was arrested along with his sister, accused police of using excessive force and putting his family in danger for not wearing masks.

“The police cannot do what they did to us. They treat us like animals, like criminals,” Mr. Tessier said.

Mr. Tessier said the video started recording after an officer grabbed his mother’s arms and tried to pull her out of the house, and Mr. Tessier tried to get between them. He denied hitting a police officer.

Officer St. Amant said one of the officers was hit and that his mask fell off during the altercation. She said the others didn’t have time to put their masks on because of the urgency of the situation, the CBC reported.

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