RCMP clarify police response to anti-racism demonstration in Red Deer
From Alberta RCMP
Alberta RCMP Statement: Police response to anti-racism demonstration
The Alberta RCMP would like to acknowledge online discussions that have taken place over the past weeks regarding a recent event in Red Deer. Our intent is to clarify our role at this event and to explain how a comment made by one of our officers was taken out of context.
On September 20, an anti-racism demonstration in Red Deer resulted in three assaults taking place.
The first assault occurred while organizers were arriving to set-up for the event. The RCMP were not yet on site at this time but were contacted, and upon arrival spoke to the victim.
The second assault took place during the event. The RCMP did not witness this assault but once police officers became aware of what had happened, they separated the parties, provided assistance to the victim, and identified the suspect. A video of the assault was then posted online with comments that police stood by and did nothing, which is incorrect. To clarify, once again, the police did not witness the incident but once we became aware of it, we took immediate action and an investigation was initiated.
While investigating the second assault, police became aware of a third assault. This incident remains under investigation.
When the September 20 Red Deer demonstration was posted on Twitter, video footage of comments made by S/Sgt. Chris Smiley were highlighted. We must be clear that the comments made by S/Sgt. Chris Smiley were widely misattributed to the Red Deer demonstration. S/Sgt. Smiley’s comments were made on September 10 in relation to events that took place in Ponoka. At both the Red Deer and Ponoka events, RCMP officers were focussed on ensuring the demonstrations could occur in a peaceful manner and addressing issues that interfered with this basic right.
It’s important to reiterate that all Albertans have the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration. The Alberta RCMP is a neutral party and we have a duty to ensure all Albertans’ rights are upheld. In the event of an unlawful act that threatens the physical safety of the demonstrators and the general public, the RCMP will take measured steps to ensure that those who unlawfully interfere with or threaten the safety of any person or property will be held accountable in accordance with the laws of Canada.
If you have a complaint about unlawful behaviour, we ask that you please contact your local detachment. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
The Alberta RCMP is proud to be Alberta’s Provincial Police Service and we are proud of our employees who devote their lives to Albertans each and every day. We have worked hard to build trusting, safe relationships with the communities that make Alberta strong. We are committed to being transparent and accountable.
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News release from the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce
Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce to form Task Force on Homelessness in Red Deer
The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce will be convening a Task Force of community and business leaders to address the issues of homelessness and identify actionable steps which can be taken to tackle this generational challenge in Red Deer.
“With the release of the City of Red Deer’s Point in Time (PIT) Report on homelessness last week we are very concerned and disappointed with the effectiveness of the strategies currently in place, and the urgency by which we need to turn this situation around within our city,” commented Scott Robinson CEO of the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. “Clearly our current strategies are not enough, and we need to elevate the urgency by which we get things done to reduce the number of citizens who are without a place to live. The growing number of people who are homeless is not sustainable and is impacting on our sense of pride, safety and attractiveness of our city to business and industry.”
“We will share more about this Task Force and the next steps in the coming weeks. Time has run out to act with conviction, courage, and clarity. Our community and citizens deserve that from our community leaders, and we are ready to bring the business community and the urgency required to the table.”
Over the next 60 days, the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce will be reaching out to its business and social agency partners to build the Task Force on homelessness and establish a strategy to address the critical steps that need to be taken to reverse the trends and further our community’s vision as a vibrant and healthy city.
Matt Cassidy, Chamber Board President. remarked “Our Chamber is positioned to be the collaborative leader in connecting our business community, social agencies, and elected officials together, to find tangible progress on this complex issue. All businesses rely on the vibrancy of our community as they strive to be sustainable, innovative, or grow, and the results of the PIT Report indicate that we need to do much more. This task force will help hold our leaders accountable for the actionable progress needed and engage one another effectively.”
“In speaking with our membership, and those working closely with the vulnerable populations there are best practices and models for delivery that are successful in other parts of the world that we need to start implementing” says Robinson. In addition, we need to look at ways that our private sector can get more involved and bring their expertise and strategic thinking to the table. As a collaborative community we also need to ensure that governments at all levels are delivering on their promises of affordable housing and eliminating barriers to expediting these investments.
Established in 1894 the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce is a non-partisan, collaborative business leader representing over 825 member businesses. As one of Red Deer’s oldest and most established membership organizations we are striving to build a vibrant community that fosters an environment where businesses can lead, be innovative, sustainable, and grow.
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