For more than a minute, a Canadian cop remained calmly seated in his cruiser as two masked men smashed his patrol car with sticks and rocks, ordering him to leave the area Sunday.
But the video ends as soon as the cop reaches for the door handle, so we cannot see what takes place next.
Nevertheless, Ontario Provincial police want us to believe the short video shows their “measured response to keep the peace and preserve life while under attack.”
However, a spokesperson for the demonstrators say the short video was taken out of context because the cops have been far from peaceful during the three-month standoff between police and members of the First Nation over a planned development near Indigenous land.
The video was tweeted by Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Thomas Carrique Sunday night.
“A man with camo is throwing rocks at us,” the cops says into his radio. “A lacross stick is hitting our cruiser.”
According to the Brampton Guardian:
“Protesters falsely blamed OPP for escalation in Caledonia,” Carrique’s tweet read.
“Extremely proud of my officers for their professional and measured response to keep the peace and preserve life while under attack.”
Demonstrators at the site they’re calling 1492 Land Back Lane said Carrique’s post is an out-of-context attempt to reframe the violence and further escalate tension.
“I think it’s really despicable content that you show a one-minute clip out of context,” camp spokesperson Skyler Williams told reporters Monday.
The site has been occupied since July, reaching the 100-day mark on Monday.
Demonstrators argue the development near Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation is on unceded Indigenous land and violates the sovereignty of the Haudenosaunee people.
Last week, a judge issued an injunction against the demonstrators, ordering them off the land which is what led to the clashes between police and demonstrators where more than 30 people have been arrested so far, according to the CDC.
People at the blockade said officers with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) used a Taser on one person and fired at least one rubber bullet.
The OPP said police cruisers parked on the street were “heavily damaged” by the protest and that officers responded with “appropriate non-lethal force.” There were no injuries and an investigation is underway, the force said on Twitter. Several cruisers had been used to create a buffer zone between the burning blockade and the public.
Camp spokesperson Skyler Williams said the police ignited the situation.
“It’s another example of the OPP coming in here with violent acts of aggression against people that are just occupying their traditional territory. I think all of us are quite sick of it,” he said.
According to a Go Fund Me fundraising drive to help pay legal costs of the arrested demonstrators. They have raised more than $266,000 at the time of this publication.
On July 19 2020 The Land Defenders of 1492 Land Back Lane stopped the housing development project of Mackenzie Meadows boarding the town of Caledonia and the Six Nations reserve. We have taken this peaceful direct action to call attention to the ongoing aggressive development of our lands. Mackenzie meadows housing development is one of several approved developments surrounding our community. Friday July 31st ,2020 our land back camp was served with an injunction order. On August 5th, 2020 the OPP brought violence into our community and enforced the injunction. Several arrests were made, and the community of Six Nations took direct action to protect our people and several roads were blocked, the CN railways was blocked and the OPP was walked out of our territory. The current situation in Six Nations is very intense as the ongoing threat of violence against us has been granted again by the Courts. On Friday August 7th Haldimand County was granted an injunction for the roadways to be cleared of our people. CN also received an injunction for the railway through our community. The interim injunction for 1492 Land Back Lane was also extended to a permanent injunction. These injunctions only serve as a colonial mechanism to disposes us of our lands and resources, which fundamentally violates our rights as sovereign Indigenous people. We will remain at 1492 and hold strong. We urge you to donate what you can to assist us in our legal fund to support Land Defenders facing current charges and any future charges that may result from the numerous injunctions against us in this particular issue.
Police say they have identified the man with the lacrosse stick but are still trying to identify the man wearing camouflage, according to the Toronto Sun.