RCMP refuses to identity officers involved in dismantling Windsor blockade

According to a report by The Canadian Press, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was asked to provide details about officers involved in helping to reopen the Ambassador Bridge after a blockade on the Windsor side of the border.

“The RCMP did not disclose the information requested in the ATIP (Access to Information and Privacy) as it was determined that the disclosure could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety of the individuals,” RCMP spokesperson Robin Percival wrote to CTV News in an email.

According to CP, RCMP officers working in Windsor received threats of personal violence and officers feared their personal information would be posted online, so the RCMP redacted their identities.

“I don’t really get the logic behind that,” public safety analyst Chris Lewis told CTV News in an interview Monday. “I think only a handful of RCMP (work) in Windsor. They would have been from other communities. I mean, what’s the name and badge number going to do?”

The RCMP was just one of the law enforcement agencies that sent officers to Windsor to assist with security of the blockade at the bridge when it started on Feb. 7, and then to assist with dismantling it and arresting protestors on the weekend of Feb. 12 -13.

Lewis also questions the validity or legitimacy of the threats.

“A lot of the people involved in those protests, Windsor included, didn’t even know why they were there. They just wanted to get involved in something,” said Lewis. “I know undercover officers (who) work with motorcycle gangs and they receive threats and to this day, they’re alive and well. No one’s ever come after them. That would be something unheard of.”

Lewis also noted officers involved will likely have to use their names and badge numbers as the cases for the arrested protestors work their way through the judicial system.

“The last department (that) should be doing that is the RCMP right now,” Lewis noted while referring to the decision as “silliness”.

“They’ve (RCMP) been under a real tight microscope in terms of some of the issues involving them and different occurrences. Why would you want to push this?”

In a statement to CTV News, the National Police Federation, which represents RCMP officers said they had nothing more to add to the CP article.

With files from an article first published by The Canadian Press on Oct. 17, 2022.

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