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'Violent protest' targets police in Pikangikum First Nation

The Ontario Provincial Police are investigating a protest on Saturday that destroyed three police vehicles and left officers barricaded inside their detachment in Pikangikum, a northern Ontario First Nation.

OPP say protest prompted by stun gun arrest

OPP say three police cars were destroyed and "extensive damage" was done to the police detachment in Pikangikum First Nation this weekend.
The Ontario Provincial Police are investigating a protest on Saturday that destroyed three police vehicles and left officers barricaded inside their detachment in Pikangikum, a northern Ontario First Nation of roughly 2,400 people. 

A small protest began on Saturday after a Pikangikum Police officer used a stun gun while arresting a community member, OPP Sgt. Peter Leon said.

"What began as a peaceful protest, very quickly evolved into a violent protest against police," Leon said, adding that numbers rose from 20 to 200 protestors before calm was restored.

Protesters threw rocks, causing "extensive damage" to the two-storey police detachment and "leaving officers in a situation where they had to take up fortification" on the second floor, Leon said.

OPP will not say how many officers were in the building while the protest was underway. 

By the time back-up arrived on Saturday evening, community members were already de-escalating the situation, Leon said. 

OPP are now investigating the incident as a criminal matter and working with the community leadership to maintain their positive working relationship, he said.

Pikangikum Police are local First Nation officers, working under the Aboriginal policing program, administered by the OPP. OPP officers fly into the community for short postings and stay at the police detachment, working alongside the local officers.