As outrage continues to build online and this story continues to go viral, the Toronto Police Services have responded with their version of the events.
PC Drummond, Communications for 52nd Division, is adamant about telling the public, “the type of flags had nothing to do with the arrest.” Claiming that the Hiawatha and the Unity Flag themselves were not the issue. For 52nd Division, the arrest was because the act of waving and holding those flags is seen as disruptive to them.
Many online have commented on what could have transpired before the video that was shot took place. As Davyn and the person who took the film have stated – they came to the event and were almost immediately asked to leave. There was no “disruptive” behaviour prior to them being approached and beyond them standing in public with the flags they held. Drummond stated that what followed after they were approached was “belligerent” behaviour on the part of Davyn.
When asked if someone would be considered “disruptive” for holding or waving a Canadian flag at a Remembrance Day Ceremony PC Drummond would not specifically say yes – but repeated “we treat everyone the same.”
PC Drummond said that 52nd Division has extensive training and experience in crowd control and demonstrations and also that each Officer undergoes anti-racist training. 52nd Division also has an Aboriginal Unit, although the arrest was not made by that Unit.
The explanations may leave many wanting though, as social media is in revolt over the video. Many are calling for the police to be charged, a human rights complaint to be filed, and/or a civil suit to be filed.
It also remains unclear why Davyn, a Veteran who has attended this public ceremony at City Hall for years with his flags, was considered disruptive by his presence this specific year.
Supporters are pushing on with a solidarity rally at 52nd Division today at 3pm and urging for the public to support. They will be marching today to demand an apology and a return of the flags confiscated yesterday.
@dylanxpowell / firstname.lastname@example.org
Video taken of the incident by Toronto activist Miguel