“Charges are coming” following assaults and lack of safety during recent Brampton protests

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Published March 10, 2021 at 10:51 pm

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Physical assaults and violations of COVID gathering rules during recent protests in Brampton haven’t gone unnoticed by Peel Regional Police and bylaw enforcement officers.

Both policing agencies say they are reviewing evidence following the demonstrations including Sunday’s large march along the streets of Brampton. Charges and fines are expected to be laid.

While Sunday’s march in support of farmers in India was peaceful, the week before saw skirmishes when a counter protest was mounted by those who back the Indian government’s measures affecting farming in that country.

Video uploaded to social media captured some of the incidences when the two sides clashed in Brampton.

“With respect to safety, there have been a number of incidents with respect to assaults on various rally participants,” said Peel Police Superintendent Sean Gormley at a news conference. “We have made one arrest and I do anticipate future arrests.”

Gormley did not comment on specific cases when asked if the assault investigations focussed on any high profile members of the community.

He went on to say police have also been trying to keep a lid on people violating the COVID-19 restrictions that limit public gatherings and require social distancing.

“This past weekend we had a very significant rally organized, we were aware of it ahead of time…we ensured that we dealt with it in a measured way,” Gormley said. “We are currently in the process of reviewing the video, looking at the evidence that we have, I do anticipate there will be some charges under the Reopening of Ontario Act.”

Paul Morrison, Brampton’s Director of Enforcement and Bylaw Services explained his department has been trying to deal with the protests since they began last fall.

“These situations are very delicate to handle, there are a lot of people, we don’t want them to turn aggressive or violent in any way,” Morrison said. “They have to be handled very specifically and with measure.”

He reiterated Gormley’s comments saying that “charges are coming” adding his department has been working with protest organizers urging them not to hold demonstrations or rallies until Peel Public Health says it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, he said bylaw enforcement officers will continue to respond to large gatherings.

(Photo: Video posted on social media captured this confrontation in Brampton between opposing groups of protesters)

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