The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has said it plans to launch an inquiry into leaked texts which show police officers allegedly gloating about using brutal force against Freedom Convoy protestors.
The messages, which were leaked by Rebel News and whose authenticity has not yet been verified, appear to show several officers delighting in the brutality via a RCMP group chat.
One message refers specifically to an incident in which a woman, who appeared to be using a mobility scooter, was trampled by mounted police in Ottawa, Ontario on Friday.
‘Just watched the horse video – that is awesome,’ the chat member allegedly wrote.
‘We should practice that manoeuvre.’
Meanwhile, one group participant wrote: ‘Time for the protesters to hear our jackboots on the ground,’ while another said: ‘Don’t kick all of them out until next weeks group gets our turn.’
It comes as the province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) announced it was investigating an incident in which a 49-year-old woman was ‘seriously injured’ in an interaction with a police horse.
It is unclear if the officers involved in the alleged texting incident will face disciplinary action as the RCMP and Ottawa police did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
A video widely circulated on social media shows a woman using a mobility scooter being trampled amid the Freedom Convoy protests in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Friday. The woman is seen lying motionless on the ground following the incident, before furious protestors begin to yell at police for the brutality
Moments after the woman is seen protesting peacefully, a mounted officer gallops through the crowd, rushes a line of protestors and tramples her
The RCMP on Sunday released a statement in response to the video and the accompanying texts, saying it was ‘aware of the material circulating on social media pertaining to a chat group that includes some of its members’, and confirming that it is ‘looking into the matter’.
‘This material is not representative of those who have committed themselves to serving Canadians with integrity and professionalism,’ the statement read, claiming the RCMP had ‘put in place measures to ensure the continued integrity of police operations as well as the safety of our members.’
It also reiterated that police officers have a ‘responsibility to hold themselves to the highest professional standards and are subject to the Code of Conduct of the RCMP at all times.’
The RCMP has not yet confirmed the authenticity of the messages, nor has it given details of any repercussions for the officers allegedly involved.
An SIU spokesperson told DailyMail.com in a statement Tuesday morning that the organization is aware of the alleged messages but unable to verify the authenticity.
The spokesperson noted the SIU does not have jurisdiction to investigate RCMP officers and said: ‘The SIU conducts investigations of the circumstances around serious injuries, allegations of sexual assault, firearm discharges, and deaths in cases involving officials.’
The Freedom Convoy demonstrations initially focused on Canada’s vaccine requirement for truckers entering the country, but morphed into a wider protest against Canada’s highly restrictive Covid precautions and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s faux-liberal government.
Trudeau can now continue to employ brute force measures after lawmakers yesterday voted 185 to 151 to extend the emergency powers, giving police the right to quell any further protest.
The ‘liberal’ prime minister said that the powers were still needed despite the fact that police disbanded the truckers’ city blockade over the weekend and had ended border blockades before that.
The trampling incident is just one of many reports of excessive violence employed by Canadian law enforcement when hundreds of police, some in riot gear and some carrying weapons firing less-lethal rounds, descended into the protest zone on Friday and began leading demonstrators away in handcuffs as holdout truckers blared their horns.
One truck driver, who was filmed being beaten by Ottawa police after having peacefully given himself up for arrest, spoke to Tucker Carlson on FOX News over the weekend.
Csaba Vizi, a Romanian-born driver who has lived in Canada for 20 years, is pictured near his truck, before he was arrested and beaten by police
Csaba Vizi, a Romanian-born driver who has lived in Canada for 20 years, told Carlson: ‘They dragged me in, they laid me down on my belly, and I don’t – I don’t remember how many were on top of me.’
‘I get down from my truck, I went down, right on my knee. I put my hands behind my head. And I was waiting for them to take me away.’
‘They were squeezing me slowly, slowly. I felt like I was beaten, but I took it like a man,’ he continued.
‘They broke my body a little bit, but not my spirit.’
Other videos have emerged of police firing less-lethal rounds and using tear gas to dispel protestors, alongside several clips of citizens involved in the demonstrations being beaten into submission.
Ottawa police arrested 170 people on Friday and Saturday as they enclosed the area around Parliament Hill, describing it as a ‘secure zone’ and preventing anyone who did not live and work there from entering.
Those within the zone were repeatedly asked to leave and, when they did not, Ottawa police advanced to arrest those who remained – using pepper spray and police horses at times.
By early Saturday afternoon, protesters were gone from the street in front of Parliament Hill, the collection of government offices that includes the Parliament buildings.
It had been occupied by protesters and their trucks since late last month.
Ottawa Police Chief Steve Bell, speaking to the media Saturday said: ‘If you are involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges. Absolutely.’
‘This investigation will go on for months to come. It has many, many different streams, both from a federal financial level, from a provincial licensing level, from a criminal code level, from a municipal breach of court order, breach of court injunction level.’
The department reaffirmed Bell’s statements on Twitter Sunday, threatening to arrest any demonstrators who failed to remove their vehicles and leave the protest site.
‘If you are involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges,’ Ottawa police tweeted.
The department added later Sunday: ‘You must leave. You must cease further unlawful activity and immediately remove your vehicle and/or property from all unlawful protest sites. Anyone within the unlawful protest site may be arrested.’