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Toronto Police Lauded Worldwide Just For Doing Their Jobs

The officer arrested the driver of the van without firing a bullet.
HuffPost Canada

People around the world are commending Toronto police officers for their swift and calm response during a tense arrest in the north end of the city.

Following a horrifying event, in which a man drove a van into pedestrians on Yonge Street between Finch and Sheppard Avenues, killing at least 10 people and injuring many others, police officers apprehended the suspect.

Videos show police approaching him cautiously, even as he waved what was initially thought to be a gun, and said what sounded like "shoot me in the head."

An officer, who has been identified as Const. Ken Lam, according to the Toronto Star, eventually took a suspect, now identified as 25-year-old Alek Minassian, into custody — without major force.

And that reaction, which contrasted so many of the recent arrests seen on video around the world, along with Lam's bravery, was immediately noticed.

It is the Toronto Police Service's policy to avoid using lethal force, and a "philosophy of using as little non-lethal force as possible," as laid out in official recommendations given in July 2014.

The officer would have been well within his rights to use whatever means necessary to apprehend the suspect.

Given the circumstances, however, Lam would have been well within his rights, according to the Criminal Code, to use whatever means necessary to apprehend the suspect.

But as Toronto police Insp. Chris Boddy pointed out on Twitter, members of the force do this kind of work every day — this encounter was just caught on video for the world to see.

Toronto police aren't without controversy when it comes to arresting violent suspects. In 2013, an officer shot and killed 18-year-old Sammy Yatim in an incident on a downtown streetcar that was caught on video, leading to a jail sentence for the officer and the recommendations noted above.

Monday's arrest appeared pretty close to textbook perfect, though.

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