On March 9th, a federal independent investigation agency for the RCMP announced that police actions at three major protest sites will be put under a magnifying glass.
The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) for the RCMP are a distinct and independent government organization who reviews complaints and investigates RCMP conduct when deemed problematic or systemically harmful.
The CRCC makes recommendations based on their investigations and it is the RCMP’s duty to act on implementing their recommendations.
In this case, three separate systemic reviews regarding police actions on Wet’suwet’en territory involving Coastal GasLink protesters, the ongoing Fairy Creek old-growth protest and the Salisbury Creek forestry road logging protest will be examined by the agencies.
Wet’suwet’en territory has continued to be developed by Coastal GasLink regardless of Hereditary Chiefs continued pleas to have their land left alone.
Unarmed, peaceful protesters have been arrested and in some cases battered by police clad in riot gear for establishing a blockade to police and Coastal GasLink workers.
Fairy Creek is located on Vancouver Island and is the site of many old-growth groves in which land defending protesters are trying to protect.
RCMP officers involved have come under scrutiny for using brutal force on unarmed protesters.
More old-growth land defenders were arrested by police north of Creston on Salisbury Creek forestry road. There they made a blockade and 17 individuals were arrested in the incident.
The CRCC’s investigation will take a look at:
- Clearly defining the RCMP’s authorities, roles and requirements in situations such as these
- Whether police training and actions are consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- Reflecting previous CRCC recommendations to the RCMP and ensuring officers follow best policing practices
The CRCC’s investigation has only just begun as of March 9th. More information will be available once their investigation has concluded and their findings have been published.