TORONTO – Public speculation that the RCMP’s arrest of Rideau Hall last week would have ended differently had the suspect not been white is a “negative distraction” and “discouraging”. RCMP said in a statement issued on Friday.
“Suggesting a more violent conclusion would be inevitable if the suspect were of another race, it is speculative and discouraging for the officers who responded, their families and all the partners who have successfully and professionally helped to resolve this threat,” said Commissioner Brenda Lucki and the National Police. Federation President, Brian Sauve.
“This creates an abstract and negative distraction from an important and evolving national dialogue with all stakeholders looking for solutions to social issues.”
The statement went on to say that speculation could “further distance” some Canadian communities from police officers, while saying that the organization welcomed the “constructive and necessary dialogue” taking place across Canada.
Earlier this week, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said when compared to recent incidents between people of color and the police, the case of Corey Hurran, a suspect in Rideau Hall, should be a reminder that systemic racism is real.
“This contrast – someone came in to potentially kill the Prime Minister of Canada, or with weapons in his home, and that person was arrested without any violence – and you had a person who was killed in your own home,” said Singh. The Canadian Press on Wednesday: “This is for me what systemic racism in policing is, that difference.”
Singh referred to the recent deaths of four non-white individuals in the Toronto and New Brunswick area, who died during interactions with the police.
Friday’s RCMP comments come after Lucki acknowledged in June that the RCMP is facing a long history of racial discrimination and that there is systemic racism in the national police force.
Hurren was accused in early July of running over a truck through a gate in Rideau Hall and threatening the prime minister. Police said Hurren, a member of Canadian forces, was armed with two shotguns, a rifle and a revolver at the time, but was arrested “without incident” as it took the police a while to slow the situation down.