Screenshots of comments made by several members of Canada’s federal law enforcement agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), in a WhatsApp group demonstrated a culture of unprofessional conduct surrounding the police presence clearing the Ottawa Freedom Convoy trucker occupation protest.
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First broken by independent media outlet Rebel News on Feb. 19, screenshots from a group titled SOCIAL Musical Ride 2022, apparently referring to the RCMP Musical Ride theatrical show that demonstrates the abilities of the portion of the force that still rides actual horses, emerged.
One screenshot appears to confirm the link to the Musical Ride as a user named Andrew Nixon states, “I’m signed up. Anyone not signed up jump on this. You’re police officers first and ride members second. Don’t coward away when we’re needed. Even one shift can relieve an ops [Ontario Police Services] member for one night.”
The screenshots demonstrate several instances of unprofessional commentary and conduct.
In one, a female officer poses for the camera with a pastry stuffed in her mouth at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, a five star hotel in Ottawa, captioned “#hero’s [sic].”
The Chateau Laurier is significant as it is one of the locations a man carrying a Nazi flag posing as a Freedom Convoy participant at the end of January was sighted at.
Investigative journalism by True North Canada cast significant doubt on the flag carrier’s affiliation with the protests.
In another, Officer Nixon states, “Time for the protestors to hear our jackboots on the ground.”
The nature of Nixon’s comment is unambiguous. As of time of writing, Google defines “jackboot” as “a large leather military boot reaching to the knee…used as a symbol of cruel or authoritarian behavior or rule.”
The veracity of the screenshots and the WhatsApp group appears to be confirmed by the RCMP itself in a Feb. 20 statement published on the agency’s website, “The RCMP is aware of the material circulating on social media pertaining to a chat group that includes some of its members, and we can confirm that we are looking into the matter.”
Head office stated further, “This material is not representative of those who have committed themselves to serving Canadians with integrity and professionalism.”
The revelations add fuel to a poor optics and public relations fire smoldering for Canadian law enforcement as they enforce the Trudeau government’s Emergencies Act semi-martial law decree to quash the occupation protest.
During one portion of video captured on Feb. 19, uniformed members of law enforcement on horseback were captured trampling protestors.
In one image, a fallen civilian is clearly being stepped on by a mounted officer, while another riding a disability aide was also toppled
In one of Rebel’s screenshots, an unidentified member of the group from a Montreal area code stated unapologetically that the French-language version of federally funded messaging outlet Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s daily news announced, “One person got arrested for injuring a Police Service Animal, inserting a bike tripping him up. U can see the horse trip in other views, thankfully the rider stayed on.”
A second anonymous user from an Ottawa area code said, “Just watched that horse video- that is awesome!!!”
“We should practice that manoeuvre [sic],” they added.
In another portion, a person named Derek Quilley posted a link from Facebook whose snippet was captioned, “Police horses trample peaceful protestors in Ottawa.”
An account named Andy Leclair replied, “Wow.”
Another named Scott Peever answered, “That’s awesome.”
A northern Alberta phone number captioned as Chris Russell said in response, “We only think we’re living the dream.”
According to the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) website, the union represents the RCMP’s civilian membership.
During the previous weekend’s Freedom Convoy protests, the PSAC and other Ottawa union branches organized a counter-protest that was reported in Canada’s establishment media as consisting of a group of Ottawa residents fed up with the occupation.
During the counter protests, several instances of the hammer and sickle flag, representing both communist ideology and the Communist Party, flew alongside union banners.
The Ottawa Communists Twitter account, which calls itself the voice of the Ottawa Rosa Luxemburg Club of the Communist Party of Canada, linked itself to PSAC and the unions when it tagged the local PSAC branch, CUPE, and the Communist Party of Canada in two posts that day documenting individuals supporting the Freedom Convoy as “#FascistOccupation” and “#FascistConvoy.”