May 4th, is generally regarded as Star Wars Day and is a celebration for many people who love one of the largest fandoms in the world. Businesses even look to get into the May The Fourth Be With You spirit by offering promotions, having costume contests, etc.
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Coco Vanilla Galatic Cantina in Lethbridge, Canada marked the day by having one of their employees stand outside the business in a storm trooper costume complete with a toy blaster.
However, after calls to police from a concerned citizen, things got very real, very quickly.
In video recorded by a bystander, we see the employee, who turned out to be a 19 year female employee of the business, sobbing as police officers with guns in their hands bark orders at the terrified girl.
Eventually, the girl is pushed to the ground, forcefully handcuffed and questioned.
Ultimately, the girl was not charged with any crime but did suffer a bloody nose during the incident.
Her boss said she is emotionally traumatized from her experience.
Bradley Whalen, owner of the Cantina, said the following, ‘She had, at that point, been down on her knees, her blaster — the plastic blaster she was using — had been over by the corner of the parking lot, the police had already looked at it. They picked it up and had seen that it was just a plastic prop.’
‘She was kind of walking out back-and-forth in front of the property by the sidewalk, just waving at people, and a couple people stopped by and got a picture with her. My concern isn’t that police responded to someone who called and reported. My problem is that after they determined that it was a fake prop, police still continued to yell at her with the guns pointed, telling her to, “get down on her face, get down on her face” and then proceeded to handcuff her after they knew that it was a plastic prop toy.’
LPS Chief Scott Woods has said that they will launch an internal investigation into the incident.
Here is video of the incident recorded by a bystander: