Participants cause damage at protest against police violence

For the second week in a row, more than a dozen protestors turned out to speak out against police brutality this past weekend, causing property damage at a Peel Police facility in the process. A 24-year-old female protestor was arrested and charged with mischief over $5,000 during the protest, which took place on Dec. 19 and saw participants splatter fake blood across a walkway and on a statue outside Peel Police’s central headquarters in south Brampton.

The protestors, who identify themselves as the “Malton People’s Movement (MPM)” spoke out against instances of alleged brutality against Black residents, including D’Andre Campbell, a Brampton resident who was shot and killed by an officer in April after calling police to attend the home regarding a domestic dispute.

On Dec. 14, the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) issued a statement indicating that they believed there was “no basis” to lay criminal charges against the officer involved in Campbell’s death, though it cites issues with the way the situation was handled, including no attempts made to verbally calm down Campbell, who had schizophrenia, at the time of the incident.

“Peel Regional Police needs to identify, charge and fire killer cops on their force instead of going after protestors fighting for justice,” the group said in a statement Monday. “Know your rights, have each other’s back and keep resisting with us and the families.”

The protest follows a similar demonstration held earlier this month at 11 Division in Mississauga, where protestors caused damage to the grounds around the facility. The Malton People’s Movement has also been tied to a series of incidents in which “disruptive” actions were taken against the community. A series of videos posted earlier this month by the Westwood Abbey Tenants’ Association shows participants of the MPM acting in a threatening manner towards tenants, including blocking elevator doors, following them to their units and threatening physical violence before by-law officers interceded.

Peel Police said in a statement Monday that the protestors were “verbally abusive” towards officers attempting to speak with them, and that the protest turned “confrontational and aggressive,” highlighting the paint thrown at the Peel Police monument.

“This monument, similar to others across our country, memorializes those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice and have been killed on duty,” the force said Saturday. Others sympathized with the group’s actions, saying the incident was part of a trend of police violence against innocent individuals and that the police have escalated the situation.

 “A community is protesting in grief, and are being met with escalation by Peel Police,” said artist and writer Daniel Rothstein in a social media post. “Protesters are justifiably angry, but the Police have the money/guns: surely there are other ways to address this.

The police’s violent response seems to be their only tool, and it is shameful.” The female protestor arrested at Saturday’s demonstration will appear in Brampton court on Feb. 21, 2021 to answer to the charges.

About the author

Asia Metro Editor

Surjit Singh Flora
editor@asiametro.ca

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