Ontario police chiefs have decried NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s comment that the recent peaceful arrest of an armed Rideau Hall intruder would’ve ended differently if he had been a person of colour.
The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) called Singh’s assertion “a direct attack on all police officers who are ready to give their lives to ensure the health and safety of their fellow citizens,” in a statement Thursday. The organization that represents Ontario’s senior police leaders said Singh should apologize and thank the officers who made the arrest.
“Rather than lauding the officers who de-escalated a serious public safety threat based on their extensive training, Mr. Singh has taken the opportunity to undermine public trust in police services and imply that police officers – as individuals and as highly trained and accountable law enforcement professionals – engage in conscious, racist behaviour when responding to incidents such as the one at Rideau Hall.”
Halton police Chief Steve Tanner tweeted that Singh chose to make a situation that was resolved safely about racism. “I suppose you openly believe that the accused should have been killed by the RCMP then?” Tanner wrote.
The backlash is an example of how police leadership continues to refuse to acknowledge their role in systemic racism and police brutality in Canada, said NDP MP Matthew Green.
“What was hard for people in reckoning with this terrorist attack is that police have the ability to de-escalate instances when they feel threatened or it’s hard,” Green told HuffPost Canada. “This is less about the feelings of [police] chiefs and their associations, and more about...