Alberta RCMP are investigating the actions of a man after a series of events that led to police raiding two homes where no crimes were being committed.
Mounties say the man’s family called police on Nov. 2 after they received text messages from him saying he had been abducted and was being held at gunpoint and knifepoint.
Officers say they traced the man’s whereabouts to two North Edmonton homes where they believed he had been earlier that day. Heavily-armed tactical teams from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) then raided both homes.
The man was later found safe at a different location, and RCMP determined there had been no abduction.
James Potts, whose home was one of the two raided by police, told CTV News Edmonton that his parents and his kids, who he lives with, are traumatized.
Home surveillance video obtained by CTV National News shows police raiding the home of the Potts family.
Timestamps on the video indicate police arrived just before 5:20 p.m., simultaneously entering the home through the backyard and approaching the front door with a vehicle-mounted battering ram.
In the backyard, video shows EPS officers with their guns drawn, directing the Potts family—a group of children, teenagers and their grandmother—to get down on the ground. At one point, an officer can be seen tearing off a teenaged boy’s t-shirt before telling him to lie down on his stomach on the pavement.
“Why are we getting arrested?,” a girl can be heard asking in the video. One officer responds: “Arms out to your side.”
The same girl asks officers “We’re not going to be shot, right?”
“No, you won’t,” responds an officer.
Potts was also briefly taken into custody during the raid.
“I just cannot believe how this tactical team treated my family and these kids. It’s unbelievable. It’s like something you would see out of a movie,” Potts said.
Alberta RCMP Cpl. Troy Savinkoff told CTV National News “We definitely regret what happened.”
Police say the teams that entered the homes were doing their best to protect the safety of everyone involved.
“A kidnapping situation where a gun’s potentially being held to somebody is a very dynamic situation,” said Cpl. Savinkoff.
“Those officers were going into that residence with the best intentions, thinking they were saving somebody’s life.”
Police say they’re now conducting a “public mischief” investigation—looking into the actions of the man who allegedly told family members he had been kidnapped, as well as others.