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Ontario watchdog clears VPD officers who fired riot weapons at Ottawa protesters

Ontario’s police watchdog has cleared two Vancouver law enforcement officials of any wrongdoing after they fired “much less deadly” firearms at demonstrators throughout the anti-COVID-19 mandate protests in Ottawa in February.

Ontario’s Particular Investigations Unit opened the probe after the officers with the Vancouver Police Division’s emergency response workforce fired the Anti-riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) and a 40-millimetre Penn Arms launcher (L140-4) throughout efforts to clear the protests on Feb. 19.

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The SIU mentioned no accidents had been reported. Nonetheless, in contrast to British Columbia’s civilian police watchdog, the Unbiased Investigations Workplace, Ontario’s SIU is remitted to research all firearm discharges, together with less-lethal weapons.

The 40-millimetre Penn Arms launcher (L140-4) used by one of the Vancouver police officers.


The 40-millimetre Penn Arms launcher (L140-4) utilized by one of many Vancouver law enforcement officials.


SIU

The SIU’s report cited statements from a number of witnesses, together with two folks struck by the officers’ projectiles, drone footage, and surveillance footage from a number of sources.

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Neither of the VPD officers was legally required to be interviewed. Each declined an interview, however one submitted a written assertion.

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Based on the report, the officers have been supporting Public Security Models officers trying to push a crowd of protesters south on Financial institution Road, in order that police might erect a fence on the roadway.

“The environment was tense because the events bodily engaged and pushed again in opposition to one another. Numerous arrests have been made,” the report states.

The Anti-riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) used by one of the Vancouver police officers.


The Anti-riot Weapon Enfield (ARWEN) utilized by one of many Vancouver law enforcement officials.


SIU

The report states that three males climbed onto a concrete barrier on the east aspect of the road, one in every of whom started to shine a brilliant flashlight in officers’ faces. The VPD officer with the L140-4 fired a number of occasions on the males, placing the person with the flashlight within the face and knocking him into the gang, and placing different two males who climbed down, in line with the report.

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The second officer fired the ARWEN twice, the report states, placing one protester within the leg who was “transferring in direction of officers, a few of whom had fallen within the push ahead,” and one other protester ” who had been preventing with law enforcement officials and was transferring once more in direction of the entrance strains,” the report states.

In his determination, SIU director Joseph Martino mentioned there have been no grounds to conclude both officer had dedicated an offence.


Click to play video: 'Police continue arrests, towing trucks in Ottawa'







Police proceed arrests, towing vans in Ottawa


Police proceed arrests, towing vans in Ottawa – Feb 19, 2022

Martino discovered the usage of projectiles in opposition to the boys on with the flashlight was affordable, given they have been trying to intervene with officers imaginative and prescient and have been deep within the crowd.

The opposite officer’s actions have been additionally affordable as they have been “directed on the legs of two protesters who appeared on the verge of bodily partaking with the officers,” he discovered.

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In April, the SIU closed one other investigation introduced similtaneously the probe into the VPD officers during which a girl was knocked to the bottom by an officer on horseback.

On the time, the SIU mentioned the girl didn’t endure a critical harm.

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