Man involved in violent arrest in Campbellton, N.B. released from custody on Monday
CAMPBELLTON, N.B. -- The New Brunswick man at the centre of a violent arrest caught on camera Friday afternoon in Campbellton, N.B. was released from custody on Monday.
Andre Mercier, 30, was arrested Friday afternoon after police responded to reports of a man wielding a stick while entering local businesses in Campbellton's downtown.
According to New Brunswick RCMP Sgt. Mario Maillet, when officers arrived, Mercier resisted arrest and an altercation ensued.
Part of the altercation and arrest was recorded and posted to social media sparking outrage in the community as a New Brunswick police officer is seen repeatedly striking Mercier, while an unidentified civilian holds down his legs.
Six investigators with Quebec's independent watchdog arrived in Campbellton Saturday night to begin the investigation, which officials say could take several weeks to complete.
"They're going door-to-door trying to talk to people, trying to find new eye witnesses," said Guy Lapointe, a spokesperson for Quebec's Bureau Des Enquetes Independantes. "At least one eye witness has come forward through our website."
On Monday, Mercier appeared in Campbellton Courthouse via video conference. He was charged with breach of probation and was released from custody. Mercier is scheduled to appear in Campbellton Courthouse on August 16.
Friends and family of the 30-year-old gathered at the Campbellton Courthouse during Mercier's appearance to show support after video of his arrest was widely circulated online.
"We came here to show Dre our support, to show him that he wasn't alone," said Jessica Fair, an organizer of the rally. "I'm sick of this stuff happening. Everyone says it's the first time it's happened but it's not. It's the first time it was filmed in Campbellton."
Fair says while she is relieved Mercier has been released from custody, she is worried about what could happen next.
"Once he leaves here today, where's he going to go?" asked Fair. "Will it be the same treatment as before? What's going to change?"
Ian Comeau, the mayor or Campbellton, addressed the public with a video statement posted to social media.
"There's been a lot of questions. A lot of unanswered questions and I think this external investigation is going to allow us to see the facts, the true story of what took place here Friday afternoon," said Comeau.