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Citizen Complaint Filed Against Halifax Police Over Tactics Used During Destruction Of Homeless Shelter

The formal complaint relates to officers failing to identify themselves and using excessive force when they used pepper spray and riot gear against protesters who were defending the shelter.

Citizen Complaint Filed Against Halifax Police Over Tactics Used During Destruction Of Homeless Shelter
Image: Screenshot of video recording by Zane Woodford/Twitter.

Content warning: this newsletter contains descriptions and video footage of police violence.

From The Canadian Press: A private citizen has filed a formal complaint over tactics used by Halifax Regional Police during the destruction of a homeless shelter back in August, CP reported Monday.

  • According to CP, Halifax Police Chief Daniel Kinsella characterized the complaint as being based on “perceived issues” with regards to officers failing to identify themselves and employing excessive force when they used pepper spray and riot gear against protesters who were defending the shelter.

After learning about the complaint, members of the Halifax police board sent their own potential review to municipal staff and for outside legal opinion on whether it has the jurisdiction to proceed, CP reported.

  • A city lawyer questioned whether the commissioners have jurisdiction to order their own independent review, CP noted, particularly as an internal investigation is already underway in regards to the citizen's complaint.

CP explained: "When a citizen files a complaint, the first step is for police to conduct an internal review, and if the citizen isn’t satisfied with the result, the matter can go before the provincial police complaints commissioner and eventually to a public hearing conducted by the police review board. Much of this process is behind closed doors."

Read The Canadian Press’ full story here.

  • The police incidents in question took place on Aug. 18, when video captured by Halifax Examiner reporter Zane Woodford during the protest showed disturbing footage of police macing several demonstrators, including a 10 year-old child.
Zane Woodford/Twitter.

The following day, Aug. 19, Kinsella claimed during a news conference that his officers "responded appropriately" when they maced protesters, and refused to apologize for the the fact that a child was pepper sprayed, the Examiner reported.

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