The backseat camera of a Toronto police cruiser captured the shocking moment when an arrested man pulled out a handgun while handcuffed.
In the video, a suspect can be seen struggling to acquire the weapon hidden behind him. Eventually, he is able to get the gun onto his lap before letting it fall onto the ground.
Investigators will be looking into the incident, which took place the evening of Oct. 27.
It’s not known how the weapon wasn’t confiscated during the man’s arrest, and how officers did not notice he was trying to access it while in the back seat.
According to sources familiar with the incident, the officers are saying that they had not found the weapon despite searching the suspect prior to getting him into the vehicle.
Ali Showbeg, 38, is currently facing nine charges, eight of which are related to firearms offenses.
Toronto has recently been plagued by an alarming spike in criminal gun violence. In 2019, the city saw an all-time high of 395 shootings, resulting in a total of 582 victims, 33 of which died, while 194 were injured according to official Toronto Police Service statistics.
In response to the spike in gun crime, both the federal government and city officials have considered a handgun ban for law-abiding citizens. Implementing a national handgun ban would cost taxpayers around $2 billion to implement.
A Public Safety Canada study found an overwhelming majority of Canadians opposed further action to ban handguns – 80 per cent of urban residents were opposed, as were 85 per cent of rural residents.
Toronto Mayor John Tory has been loudly advocating for a municipal handgun ban and has lobbied Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to crackdown on gun ownership. Prior to the election, Trudeau promised that if re-elected the Liberals would ban semi-automatic rifles and give municipalities more power to ban handguns possessed by licensed and law-abiding citizens.
Despite calls from politicians to crack down on gun rights, police officials, including the president of the Toronto Police Association, Mike McCormack say a ban would not have an impact on criminal shootings.
“There’s no way in my world or any world I know that this [a handgun ban] would have an impact on somebody who’s going to go out and buy an illegal gun and use it to kill another person or shoot another person,” said McCormack.