Canadian Freedom Convoy: Ottawa police say protesters’ actions prompted horse-mounted cops to trample truckers

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Police addressed the public Saturday regarding the ongoing trucker Freedom Convoy protests raging in Ottawa, Canada.

The press conference comes on the heels of mass arrests and aggravated clashes between law enforcement and the protesters, who have now grown in numbers to include not only Canadian truck drivers but also members of the public and even Americans who have traveled to join the cause.

HOW TO WATCH FOX NEWS CHANNEL IN CANADA

They faced a barrage of resistance, shoving and vitriol. We all saw that the protesters were aggressive with the officers and we needed to use horses at one point, “Police Chief Steven Bell said at the conference.” As a result, we responded this morning by adding helmets and batons to our equipment for the safety of our officers.

He continued, “Our officers continued to face resistance at one point, a flare was ignited by a protester. Officers used a chemical irritant also known as pepper spray, to disperse unlawful demonstrators who were resisting police orders. Sadly, we again saw young children being brought to the unlawful demonstration and to the front of our police. “

Ottawa Police move a line of protesters from the intersection at Sussex and Rideau Streets in Ottawa on Feb.  18, 2022.

Ottawa Police move a line of protesters from the intersection at Sussex and Rideau Streets in Ottawa on Feb. 18, 2022.
(Steve Russell / Toronto Star)

Canadian truckers have been protesting in Ottawa since late January calling for an end to COVID-19 mandates. On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canadian history.

Reporters questioned Bell on rumors and video that purported to show violent clashes between the horse-mounted officers and protesters.

“What I can indicate is there were two members of the protesters who did collide with the horses. They fell down,” Bell told the reporters. “They immediately got back up and started to again engage in their protest and demonstration activity. That is one of the circumstances where as we monitor it, we’re identifying this information as quickly as we can, providing accurate, real information about what is occurring on the ground. “

The police chief warned about “misinformation” coming out of Ottawa’s protest, and assured the public that they would be quick to turn around reliable info as it becomes available.

Asked about reports of violent beatings at the protests, specifically baton injuries to retreating protesters, the chief doubled down on the necessity of force in shutting down the demonstration efficiently.

“As indicated earlier, we will have the opportunity to review all of those files. There are complaint mechanisms for people to enter into if they feel that there is excessive use of force by members of our police service,” Bell said. He added, “This occupation is over. We have advised them that if they peacefully leave, they may go home. That still exists. We also indicated that we would escalate and forcibly remove people from the streets if they did not comply. Some of that is what you’re seeing. So I will stand here today again and say this demonstration is over. Go home. If you do not go home, we will remove you from the streets. “

Signs of support are planted in a snow bank near the parliament building where trucks have formed a blockade of streets as a demonstration led by truck drivers protesting vaccine mandates continues on February 16, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canada's history to try to put an end to the blockade which is now in it's third week.

Signs of support are planted in a snow bank near the parliament building where trucks have formed a blockade of streets as a demonstration led by truck drivers protesting vaccine mandates continues on February 16, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invoked the Emergencies Act for the first time in Canada’s history to try to put an end to the blockade which is now in it’s third week.
(Photo by Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Ottawa police on Friday announced the arrests of more than 100 protesters participating in demonstrations against COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates in Canada that have been ongoing for weeks.

Authorities also removed 21 vehicles in Canada’s capital on Friday night as protesters refused to vacate certain areas surrounding Parliament Hill and appeared to clash with police in videos posted online.

“You must leave,” Ottawa police said said in repeated messages posted to their Twitter page in an effort to disperse protesters. “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.”

Fox News’s Audrey Conklin, Jon Michael Raasch, and Adam Sabes contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment