The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said it is looking into allegedly leaked screenshots showing Canadian authorities reportedly boasting about brute force on protesters demonstrating against Canada’s coronavirus mandates.
“Time for the protesters to hear our jackboots on the ground,” one member of RCMP Musical Ride allegedly wrote. Musical Ride is described as an RCMP group assisting “front-line police operations by building positive relationships, supporting recruiting efforts and promoting the RCMP’s image in communities in Canada.”
“okay we can give out free hugs and unicorn stickers,” the RCMP member allegedly said after receiving pushback for his “jackboots” remark.
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The messages are allegedly from a group chat for RCMP Musical Ride and first reported by Rebel News on Saturday. A representative for RCMP sent WHD News Digital a statement on Sunday stating that authorities are aware of the messages and looking into them.
“This material is not representative of those who have committed themselves to serving Canadians with integrity and professionalism,” reads the statement.
“Don’t kick all of them out until next weeks group gets our turn,” one member of RCMP Musical Ride allegedly said in the group chat accompanied by a photo of a beer, Rebel News reported.
Another member also allegedly boasted about the “awesome” video allegedly showing people getting trampled by a police officer on a horse in Ottawa, according to the outlet.
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“just watched the horse video – that is awesome,” the RCMP Musical Ride member allegedly wrote.
“we should practice that manoeuvre.”
A civilian oversight agency in Ontario announced on Sunday that it is investigating reports of a 49-year-old woman left seriously injured after a Toronto police officer on a horse allegedly trampled her in Ottawa.
“On Friday, February 18 at approximately 5:14 p.m. there was an interaction between a Toronto Police Service officer on a horse and a 49-year-old woman on Rideau Street and Mackenzie Avenue,” read a press release from the Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act last Monday, which gives power to the Canadian government to prohibit public assembly, restrict travel and requires businesses such as tow companies to act on the government’s demands.
Ottawa police announced mid-afternoon Sunday that 191 people have been arrested and authorities have filed 389 charges. Nearly 100 cars and trucks have also been towed from the city.
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Police have threatened that people who bring a minor to the protest site could be fined up to $5,000 and/or potentially spend up to five years in prison. Personal or business bank accounts may also be subject to examination and restriction, according to police.
WHD News’ Jon Brown and Tyler O’Neil contributed to this report.