OPS release statement on eve of planned George Floyd protest

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Police Service has released a statement on their role in tomorrow’s (June 4) peaceful march in honour of killed American citizen George Floyd whose treatment and subsequent death at the hands of the police has sparked huge protests around the world.

“On Friday, there will be a peaceful march in honour of George Floyd that will happen in our downtown core, starting at 3 p.m. on Sussex Drive,” the OPS released in a statement today. “We respect the rights of our residents and community members to speak out when they see injustices and we understand the community’s deep pain and frustration. Our role is to provide a safe space for people to grieve and be heard.

“The safety of the participants, all members of the community and our members remains our priority.  Road closures will be in effect and we will be managing impacts to traffic.

“You may see some of our officers wearing a mask, or other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), as recommended by Ottawa Public Health in the event they are unable to maintain physical distancing. Your safety is important, and we need to recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is still not over. We are working with organizers and Ottawa Public health to help ensure PPE is available to participants. As part of their Covid-19 protection equipment Ottawa Police are also provided gas mask, which they will be carrying with them.

“As the Nation’s Capital, Ottawa is the seat of democracy for the rest of the country; the voices and ideas of those who live here should be heard and shared.

“Public safety is a shared responsibility. We are working with organizers and all stakeholders to enable a safe, healthy and positive event.

“You have a right to be heard. And we will support that right by ensuring your safety.”

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