Canadian Police Grossly Overreact to 'Galactic' Restaurant Employee in Stormtrooper Suit on Star Wars Day

FILE - In this March 8, 2018, file photo, Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker in the "Star Wars" films, poses with the film's droid character R2-D2, at a ceremony honoring Hamill with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. Kansas is rolling out the welcome mat after Hamill tweeted about wanting to visit. Gov. Jeff Colyer suggested Monday, April 23, 2018, in a tweet that Hamill come on May 4, which fans call Star Wars Day for the wordplay on "May the Force be with you." (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

 

May the fourth has been an unofficial, but internationally known holiday since the late 1970s for the obvious reason that “May the force be with you” is the most commonly repeated line from Star Wars. The first Star Wars movie debuted in 1977 and the media franchise is as popular now as it was then and its impact on pop culture is indisputable.

This is to say that it shouldn’t shock too many people to see someone dressed up as a stormtrooper on May the 4th carrying a plastic blaster.

On Monday, the Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina, a small restaurant in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, called on one of their female employees to don a stormtrooper suit and try to drum up business in the adjacent parking lot. The plastic blaster was a necessary part of the ensemble.  It was Star Wars Day and “Galactic” was their middle name.

The 19-year-old waved at people passing by. Some had their pictures taken with her. And all was going well until two people called 911 with “firearms complaints.”

According to the Lethbridge News:

The female employee arrived for work at 10:00 am on Monday, May 4, and went out in full costume around 20 minutes later.

[Restaurant owner Bradley Whalen] believes that some members of the public must have seen her brandishing a plastic toy blaster believing it was a real gun and phoned police. Lethbridge Police Service (LPS) Inspector Jason Walper says they got two 911 calls regarding a firearms complaint near the business on 13 Street North.

“Police officers had guns drawn, pointed at my employee. They were yelling at her to put the gun down so she threw the plastic gun on the ground. At that point in time when I came out, she was on her knees kneeling down on the ground. The police had already checked and seen that the gun was plastic so they already knew that there wasn’t an issue or a risk there.”

In the video below, three police cars pull up in front of the lot. The stormtrooper immediately drops her plastic blaster and puts her hands up. That wasn’t enough for the police officers.

A female cop yells, “Get down on the ground,” which isn’t so easy when you’re dressed in a stormtrooper suit.

After she managed to get down on her knees, the female cop yells, “Get down on your belly.” The girl can be heard sobbing as she is being arrested.

Calgary TV News reports that, after watching a video of the arrest, Lethbridge’s police chief called for an investigation “into the actions of the responding officers.”

Whalen (the restaurant’s owner) told CTV that Ashley (the stormtrooper) “suffered a bloody nose after she was tackled to the ground by officers and handcuffed.”

No charges have been filed in the case.