Protestors charged after reports of assaults outside Calgary courthouse
CPS acknowledges protestors are expressing concerns about police racism, accountability
Two people have been charged after multiple assaults on bystanders that occurred during demonstrations outside the Calgary Courts Centre that called for the firing of a city police officer.
In recent weeks, there have been more than a dozen complaints of aggressive and abusive behaviour on the part of demonstrators to passersby, according to a release issued by Calgary Police Service on Thursday.
The protests were sparked by the case of Const. Alex Dunn, who was charged with assaulting a Black woman in 2017.
Dunn has since been convicted of assault causing bodily harm and was handed a one-month sentence — half to be served under house arrest, half under a curfew.
The protestors have been calling for Dunn to be fired. They have also expressed concerns about racism within the police force and a perceived lack of accountability.
CPS said in a statement that the chief of police does not have legal authority to impose discipline or dismiss an officer for serious misconduct and that under the provincial Police Act the matter must sent to a disciplinary hearing.
"Given that this process is highly regulated and quasi-judicial, it takes time to get through it," the release says.
"Constable Dunn remains relieved from duty without pay and is currently not in possession of his service-issued firearm, use of force equipment or badge. This will not change until the conclusion of his case."
Complaints of assault
Police say that while the force respects the right to protest, in this case, there have been incidents that created public safety concerns.
On Aug. 5, police say they were called to the courthouse for a report that a man had been attacked by several individuals after it was alleged that the victim was taking photos of a demonstration.
Police say security footage showed a woman throwing water at the victim and pouring it over his camera and equipment. The woman also allegedly struck the victim in the head and broke his glasses after grabbing them off his head.
A male protestor also allegedly knocked the victim to the ground and held him.
Earlier this week, a court employee reported to police that a man and a woman repeatedly approached him aggressively and made several racial comments as he was attempting to leave the building. He said it happened over several days.
On Wednesday, it was reported two protestors assaulted a citizen with a sign after the person attempted to enter the courthouse, police said.
On Thursday, two protestors outside the courthouse were arrested after an alleged assault. Police said protestors assaulted and struck an off-duty courthouse employee with a megaphone at around 12:45 p.m.
After investigating the incidents, police have laid several charges.
Taylor McNallie, 30, was charged with:
- One count of assault with a weapon for an incident on Aug. 12.
- One count of assault with a weapon for an incident on Aug. 11.
- One count each of uttering threats and criminal harassment for an incident on Aug. 9.
- One count of assault and two counts of mischief under $5,000 for an incident on Aug. 5.
McNallie is set to appear in court on Oct. 1.
She was previously charged with assault with a weapon after an incident at a September 2020 anti-racism event in Red Deer, Alta.
The RCMP says she is scheduled to appear in court this November on those charges.
Jacinta Prodaniuk, 27, is charged with:
- One count of assault for an incident on Aug. 12.
- One count of assault for an incident on Aug. 11.
Prodaniuk is to appear in court on Oct. 8.
A third suspect has also been identified for an incident that occurred Aug. 9, but charges have not been laid yet.
A fourth suspect is a man believed to have held the victim down on Aug.5 but has not yet been been identified.
Anyone with information about the man's identity or whereabouts is asked to call the police using the non-emergency number, 403-266-1234, or to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.