Excessive force, not Canadian politeness.
Helmet camera video shows a Hamilton, Ontario police officer tackling a stopped sportbike rider, knocking his bike over, and handcuffing him, all for the crime of having his license plate tucked under the rear fender instead of the stock location.
As the video posted to the East End Hamilton Neighbourhood Watch Facebook group begins, Kyle Wilde was stopped at a red light on his Suzuki, talking to his camera while recording a motovlog. Suddenly the unidentified officer tackled Wilde, telling him "Get off the bike, get off the bike" and pulling him to the side of the road. The bike fell over on its right side. The officer immediately handcuffed Wilde, who was confused but fully compliant with police.
The situation rapidly de-escalated. The officer explained that he did what he did because Wilde's license plate was tucked under the fender, not on full display on the back of the bike in the factory location. "When guys hide the ... license plate," he says in the video, "They don’t pull over. They take off. That’s why I had to do that. It’s just so you wouldn’t fly."
Wilde's cooperation got him out of handcuffs quickly, and soon released without even a ticket. Officers picked up his bike, and Wilde found his brake lever bent as a result of the drop. The video blurs at this point, likely to hide the officer's identity as he appears to pull out his own wallet and offer Wilde cash in compensation. "I’ve got to make this right, so what can we do?" says the officer. "It’s my bad. It’s my fault, right?"
To be fair, Wilde is in the wrong for having an improperly displayed license plate. The Ontario Highway Traffic Act states, "The view of the number plate shall not be obscured or obstructed by spare tires, bumper bars, any part of the vehicle, any attachments to the vehicle or the load carried." The officer had every right to detain and cite him for this violation. Tackling him and knocking his bike over, however, seems rather excessive. Wilde was committing no further violation at the time, nor did he make an effort to flee or resist the police. It seems like Wilde was profiled simply for riding a sportbike.
"The Hamilton Police Service is aware of the video and we are reviewing it accordingly to ensure policies are being adhered to," says a statement to Canada Moto Guide.