A Metro Vancouver Transit Police officer who went viral for a video of his calm handling of an anti-masker on a SkyTrain in 2020 has been promoted.
Constable Peter Kwok was promoted as the new media relations officer for Metro Vancouver Transit Police on Monday.
“You were all extremely kind to him when a video of him dealing with an anti-masker went viral on Reddit,” the force wrote in a post on the r/Vancouver subreddit. “In fact, about 200 of you took the time to email us and let us know how much you appreciated the job Cst. Kwok was doing. So, for his first spokesperson task, he insisted on publicly thanking all of you wonderful people here on Reddit with a photo.”
Kwok is remembered for how he handled a woman on a Vancouver SkyTrain who refused to wear a mask aboard the train during TransLink’s COVID-19 mask mandate in December 2020.
In the video, the woman, who filmed the incident, tells Kwok that she has a medical exemption card; however, the officer informs her that the use of those cards had been suspended.
Kwok tells the woman to leave the train if she refuses to wear a mask, but she insists that she must go to Richmond and that she cannot wear a mask.
“Wow, that is ridiculous! I need healthy air exchange in my mouth,” she says.
Kwok remains calm as the woman begins to yell. She is eventually arrested.
The woman was issued with a $230 fine for failing to wear a mask in an indoor space and a $230 fine for her “abusive or belligerent behavior.”
“Transit Police received an unprecedented amount of support for Cst. Kwok when a video of him went viral,” the Transit Police tweeted on May 11, 2021. “Today, we are able to share that the woman involved was found guilty and will have to pay all of her violation tickets.”
“Officers enforcing the regulations are already at an increased personal risk by having to deal with people who are unmasked and whose health status is unknown during a pandemic,” Sergeant Clint Hampton previously told the Daily Hive. “Further causing concern is that often these anti-maskers are immediately confrontational and in some circumstances physically combative with officers from the onset of the interaction.”