Alberta Cops Handcuffed a Woman in a Star Wars Costume Because Someone Complained About Her Fake Blaster

Considering Stormtroopers aren't known for their aim, the police had nothing to fear.


Star Wars fans all over the world celebrated the series on May 4th ("May the fourth be with you") on Monday. Because it's a Star Wars-themed pizza joint, Coco Vanilla Galactic Cantina in Alberta took advantage of the occasion to drum up more takeout business by having an employee stand outside the restaurant dressed as an Imperial stormtrooper.  

Then the police showed up. 

Owner Brad Whalen told Reason that he had a costumed employee stand in front of the restaurant to generate buzz and encourage passersby to order from the restaurant, which is desperate for business due to COVID-19 rules preventing eat-in dining. 

The employee was only outside for about an hour when officers with the Lethbridge Police Service (LPS) showed up. Apparently, two onlookers called 911 to report the employee for holding a plastic replica of a stormtrooper blaster. 

A viral video captured the events after their arrival.

Several officers are seen drawing weapons, walking towards the costumed employee, and ordering her to get on the ground.

A statement by LPS said the employee "dropped the weapon but did not initially comply" with the orders. Whalen disagrees with the statement, saying the video is "very clear" that she was compliant. Whalen also notes that the hard plastic costume makes it difficult enough to sit down, let alone kneel.

In the video, the employee can be heard sobbing through her helmet as she attempts to kneel and get down on the ground.

"It could have been very simple and over at that point in time, but the city police here decided that they were going to escalate it and be physical with her," Whalen says.

The LPS statement goes on to say that the employee "sustained a minor injury," but does not provide any further information. Whalen tells Reason that the officers pushed her face down and ended up cutting her nose on the helmet, and that was after they had already determined that the gun was fake.

The employee was handcuffed but was ultimately not charged with a crime. 

LPS will not comment any further on the incident, but Chief Scott Woods said in the statement that an investigation is underway.

"We don't have too much faith in the local police service to investigate themselves," Whalen says. He has since called for the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), an independent investigation agency, to look into the encounter. 

While the events have affected the female employee and Whalen's business, he says he's appreciative of the outpouring of support from all over the world. Fellow fans have flocked to the restaurant's Facebook page to share their own cosplay pictures and leave encouraging messages for the employee. Others promised to order pizza the next time they were in town or have donated to the restaurant's GoFundMe to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  1. Cops are mental midgets.

    1. May the Farce be with you!

      1. Roberta says you should always comply.

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        1. Did you make it by spamming comments sections? Troll.

    2. I hate to think how the LPS would have handled a real cosplay event.

      1. No specifics, but guaranteed it would involve body-bags.

  2. Marche a suivre, Dudley Do-Right!

  3. Real blaster or not, a stormtrooper wouldn’t have hit anything.

    1. And these blast points, too accurate for Sandpeople. Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise.

      1. Precise, but not accurate. They clustered around what they weren’t aiming for.

  4. What a bunch of assholes. The cops, and the snitches.

    1. Those People’s Democratic Republic of Canuckistan cops might want to avoid ordering pizza from that place unless they’d like a free extra topping.

      1. pineapple.

        1. Reported!

      2. It’s the Lethbridge police, it’s where you go when the RCMP and Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer police have turned you down. It’s essentially the equivalent of being a mall cop.

        1. Wow. Was this show of force intended to convince someone the cops should be called up to the big leagues?

          Because I don’t think overpowering a sobbing female cosplayer shows you got the stuff to handle the mean streets of Halifax.

    2. The caller should have just been told to fuck off, or better yet, arrested for filing a false police report. This kind of shit is what gives police haters a soapbox and encourages assholes to commit more assholery.

  5. Jesus Fucking Christ.

    1. Jesus Fucking Christ is exactly right. If the Romans had only know that “he” was a Starwars dude, all this Christianity shit could’ve been totally avoided. Am I making myself clear? LOL

  6. Welp, when even the Canadian police have stopped being polite you know some bad shit’s going down – I’m pretty sure that, along with the fires and the floods and the locusts and the plague, Canadians no longer being polite is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

    1. Canadian “politeness” is a myth that only people who have never lived in Canada believe.

      1. When I was a kid I visited Germany, and discovered that all the local Germans hated Canadians. They were so glad I was one of those nice polite Americans. Turns out there was a small Canadian air base near by, and the Canucks were considered rude and obnoxious.

      2. My experiences in Canada have been that the people are mostly quite nice. At least from Montreal through to Calgary – Quebec City and Vancouver have issues. But public officials have done a massive transformation over the last two or three decades. They are horrible.

      3. Canadians are full of themselves. Being one I know this firsthand, they deride The United States for being an evil empire whilst having no problem with China. I’m not sure where this sense of superiority comes from?

        1. I’m from Canada and you described our elites. They despise the U.S.. Regular Canadians are fine w Americans.

    2. The late Canadian author ‘Mel Hurtig’ was one of these kinds of people. He wrote several books about how being reliant on the US for trade was bad for Canada. I’m not sure where his reasoning came from, if we didn’t have the United States as a reliable trading partner and market for our goods we would still be a cold, poor and miserable part of the British empire.

  7. Somebody wants to be Luke Skywalker.

  8. The worst part is that the irony of oppressing someone in a stormtrooper costume is completely lost on these pathetic morons. If I don’t murder a cop or a snitch by the time this is over, I will be truly amazed. Please donate to my GoFundMe when it happens.

    1. for legal purposes, this is a joke, right?

  9. That’s some fine police work there, Emperor Lou.

    1. Remember when you told us you eat your own shit?

      1. Remember when your mommy told you she loved you?

        Yeah, I don’t, either.

  10. So if the gun were real, it would be a crime to have one?

    1. It’s Canada, eh. So yeah, ye hoser.

    2. It could be a crime (soon) to want one.

    3. You might be onto something, blasters probably weren’t one of the 1500 named guns banned by Emperor Blackface.

  11. Whalen tells Reason that the officers pushed her face down and ended up cutting her nose on the helmet, and that was after they had already determined that the gun was fake.

    The employee was handcuffed but was ultimately not charged with a crime.

    But the cops ‘roided up freaks who assaulted her were charged with assault, right?

  12. two onlookers called 911 to report the employee for holding a plastic replica of a stormtrooper blaster.

    I mean, aside from the massive stupidity of everyone involved in this incident I wouldn’t be super sure that even real stormtrooper blasters are anything more than plastic. Because, you know, they aren’t real in any version of this reality.

    Also, gotta love the ‘training’ these officers received in firearm identification.

    ‘What kind of gun is that, Leroy? Looks like an AK!’ would be how I imagine their conversation went as they ordered the stormtrooper to kneel. Protect and serve, indeed, when they don’t even know what a real gun looks like.

    At least with an AirSoft type fake-gun they’re intended to look a little real sometimes.

    1. Actually the stormtrooper blasters were based on the British Sterling L2A3 submachine gun from WW2 without much changes. I think for actual filiming they even used real guns with a few mods. A shroud was added to cover the barrel vents, a dummy scope was put on top of the receiver, and an extremely shortened magazine was added, which can be seen protruding from the left side where the actual mag would have gone and the folding stock (the shoulder thing that goes up) is always folded but that’s pretty much it.

      They used slightly modified/ disguised real guns for a lot of the other blasters as well. The most famous being Han’s gun which is really just a Mauser C96.

      None of which excuses the stupidity of either the cops or the moronic snitches in this case.

      ‘What kind of gun is that, Leroy? Looks like an AK!’ would be how I imagine their conversation went

      This was Canada so probably more like “What kind of gun is that hoser carrying there, eh? Looks like an AK, buddy!”

      1. I think some of the sandtroopers in A New Hope are carrying modified MG-42s as well. But yeah, nothing excuses the stupidity of the cops or the evilness of the snitches.

        1. Yep, the DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle is based on the MG-42

      2. An aside: Carolyn McCarthy was trying to define what a barrel shroud was when she coined “shoulder thing that goes up.”

        1. Did she also refer to “the squeezy pew-pew thingy” before it became more formally known as “the trigger”?

  13. Sounds like someone played a practical joke that went awry. I think those who called 911 should be charged for making false statements. There is literally no-one on this planet who doesn’t know about Star Wars.

    But yeah the cops are douchebags. Ever notice how militant the cops got over the last few decades. Between the drug wars and the possibility some of these guys are probably having flashbacks to Iraq and Afghanistan, they are really going over the edge.

    1. Yeah, but multiply that now that they themselves have stormtrooper rights under the benevolent authority of state [provincial] dictators, some of whom have said your legal and human rights are suspended till further notice. The only thing missing her is the right cross of a gun butt against her temple for noncompliance, and probably for the crime of crying in a stormtrooper costume.

      1. It’s all in the training — cops used to train to protect and serve, protect the rights of citizens (and maybe rough up some minorities in bad neighborhoods for sport). Now they’re trained to be “bulletproof warriors” and “come home alive” and use lethal force at the first sign of danger, and to beat up anyone who doesn’t show the requisite level of deference to their authority.

  14. I was a cop for 28 years. Those cops should be fired. Barney Fife had better law enforcement instinct. My sympathies to the employee in the costume.

    Chief do the right thing.

    1. If every cop was like you, very few people would have a problem with the police.

      Most defend the cop no matter their crime. The thin blue line and all …


  15. In response to a number of public comments and inquiries being received, police advise the community that regrettably we do not have the capacity to respond to every individual call and message.

    “But rest assured those responses we are able provide will include guns drawn.”

    1. “And you can be doubly certain that we will respond to every stupid call with shock and awe while completely ignoring anything of consequence elsewhere.”

  16. Blasters are illegal in Alberta.

  17. Look, this wouldn’t be the first time someone has rampaged across a Canadian Province wearing an official Imperial Uniform.

    1. “[Whalen] said they will also be making a request to ask that police car dash cam, or other video evidence LPS may have, is not destroyed or disposed of.”

      Please, don’t be paranoid, as if they’d do *that!*

    2. Well of course, he’s been in outer space and probably encountered the real Storm Troopers at some point. We just don’t have film of that crossover.

      1. Search for “star wars star trek crossover fanfiction.”

        1. That would require time travel. Star Wars was a long time ago, and in a galaxy far, far away from ours. Kirk thinks the Delta Quadrant is remote.

      2. TJ Hooker wouldn’t never have done that.

  18. “Can you spot the *real* stormtrooper in this picture?”

    1. This shit started when political correctness demanded that every 90 yr old grandma from Kansas trying to board be treated with the same level of suspicion of terrorist as a 20 yr old Saudi male traveling with no luggage on a cash one-way ticket. A vacant house near me was reported as having 2 10 yr old boys who entered the property [probably to smoke a cigarette], and the police responded with 4 squad cars and 7 officers.

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  20. Let this be a lesson. It is only necessary to call the cops on someone if you believe that person should die. The police initiated a violent confrontation when no violence was present.

  21. The best part of the article is the recommended video of Philippines officials cosplaying as star wars villains to enforce covid-19 rules. Those look like pretty high quality costumes too. And all original movie outfits too. Bravo.

  22. Will they at least be paying to repair the damage I’m sure they caused to the costume by making her lay down on pavement like that?

  23. Well it’s Canada, so if she really wanted to engage in crimes with impunity she’d have to dress like one of the sand people.

  24. I’m not sure why people aren’t taking this more seriously. Impersonating a police office is a serious crime.

  25. See, Alberta would fit in just fine as a 51st State. They’ve already got the American Law Enforcement mindset down pat. Now, they just need to work in the ‘investigating themselves, and finding no fault’ thing.

    1. You are so yesterday. Their Supreme Court has already ruled that the basis for deciding any case is protected from view by anyone for 75 years. Essentially, ‘we decided and nobody has a right to question it, even in the press,’ As if their press would actually question the decisions of their very left Court.

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  27. The snowflake that reported this should be curb stomped. I mean a beat down.

  28. This is why we have a Second Amendment. Canada clearly needs one, and provinces should be empowered to repel attacks.

    1. You don’t think this wouldn’t happen in many American cities? You clearly have no concept of living in NYC, DC or Chicago. And coming to other cities near you if the arrests for stupid COVID “crimes” is any indication.

  29. What makes this all the more insane is that
    the Lethbridge Police force actually is the Highest paid while being the poorest trained police force in Canada.
    This is what happens when a Leftist City is spending other people money like it’s water.

  30. Lol Canada.

  31. The leftist canukes and another socialist societal fail. Go figure?

  32. The real crime here is the music playing in the video. The 80’s called, they want their music back.

  33. Is there a Canadian cover of Fuck Tha Police?

  34. The police should be charged with assault and battery.
    Plus even if she were a real Storm Trooper with a real blaster, everyone knows Storm Troopers pose very little threat to your life, since their aim is horrific.

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