Gunpoint arrest was textbook, but…

Although the sight of guns and shouting cops may jar some — most certainly those who have them pointed at them — the above video shows the WPS acting extremely professionally in a tense situation.

It’s dark, the two in the car match the description of armed robbery suspects and, most importantly, who knows if they’re armed and with what?

Traffic stops have proven to turn deadly quick if the right precautions aren’t taken.

The video, captured by Winnipeg’s very own ‘Scanner Man’ Shaun McLeod on Sunday morning, is a great example of how the proliferation of guns in the city has changed the face of policing as maybe some in the sleepy suburbs may have come to think of it.

The officers’ methodical behaviour in removing the suspects from the car should be credited.

While the use of force is seldom elegant, nobody got hurt and everything got cleared up in short order.

Notice especially, how one officer seems to ‘run point’ and direct the whole affair of removing the men from the car, thus minimizing any chance of confusion or miscommunication that could lead to violence.

But, editorializing aside, the video does raise a question: How is the WPS dealing with the need for officers on the street to be able to communicate with people whose first language isn’t English?

It’s pretty clear that both men have problems following the verbal commands the officers are giving. The driver, Mustafe Nur, is Somalian and hasn’t been in Canada all that long.

Obviously, you can’t have all of your officers speak every language. But I’d be interested to know if the WPS has taken steps to address how officers communicate with the city’s burgeoning African population.

We know that the force is among the most diverse in North America, but I can say in the last year, there’s been a lot more calls over the scanner for translators to come to scenes or to do interviews.

CBC News has a boisterous debate on this story in the comments section, just as we’ve had a similar debate in the newsroom about the story was framed.

Reporter Sean Reynolds was the man behind the piece.

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