Protestors charged in relation to assaults on bystanders
The Calgary Police Service and the Calgary Courts Centre have received more than a dozen complaints over the past few weeks in relation to the behaviour of demonstrators outside the courthouse who are reportedly being aggressive and abusive to passersby. The protestors are calling for a police officer who was recently convicted of assault causing bodily harm to be fired, and they are also expressing larger concerns about police accountability, systemic racism and the need to change how police and other community supports are funded. While our Service fully respects their right to protest, there have been several incidents where the actions of individuals participating in the protest have created public safety concerns and four incidents have now resulted in criminal charges.
August 12 incident
Earlier today, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, two people were taken into custody outside the courthouse by the Alberta Sheriffs in relation to an assault allegation. It is alleged that at approximately 12:45 p.m., an off-duty courthouse employee was attempting to enter the courthouse when she was aggressively approached by two individuals and subsequently assaulted and struck with a megaphone.
Taylor MCNALLIE, 30, is charged with one count of assault with a weapon. MCNALLIE will next appear in court on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021.
Jacinta PRODANIUK, 27, is charged with one count of assault. PRODANIUK will next appear in court on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021.
August 5 incident
The second incident resulting in charges occurred shortly after 3:35 p.m., on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. Police were called to the Calgary Courts Centre, 601 6 Street S.W., for a report that a man had been attacked by several individuals who were believed to be connected to the ongoing protest occurring in front of the courthouse. It is alleged that the victim was standing on the opposite side of the street taking photos of the demonstration when he was aggressively approached by a man and a woman.
After reviewing CCTV footage of the incident, it is believed that the woman threw water at the victim and poured water over his high-end camera and equipment. She then allegedly struck the victim in the head, grabbed the glasses off his face and broke them. The male protestor then allegedly knocked the victim to the ground and held him so he could not leave while several other demonstrators surrounded him. The victim accessed his cellphone, called 9-1-1 and was eventually allowed to leave the area.
Taylor MCNALLIE, 30, has been charged with one count of assault and two counts of mischief under $5,000 in connection with this incident.
The man believed to have held the victim down has not yet been identified and investigators are seeking public assistance to identify him. Photos of the man are available on The City of Calgary Newsroom.
Anyone with information about the man’s identity or whereabouts is asked to contact the police non-emergency number at 403-266-1234, or to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.
August 9 incident
The third report resulting in charges occurred over three days, between Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 and Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. An employee of the Calgary Courts Centre called police to report that he had been harassed and threatened by two people when he attempted to leave the building. Over the three days, a man and a woman approached the employee, acting aggressively, shouting and making several racially motivated comments.
Taylor MCNALLIE, 30, is charged with one count each of uttering threats and criminal harassment in relation to this incident.
Investigators have identified the second suspect and additional charges are anticipated in this incident.
August 11 incident
The fourth incident resulting in charges occurred around 1:45 p.m., on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021. A citizen contacted police to report that he had been assaulted by multiple people after attempting to enter the Calgary Courts Centre. As he was walking into the courthouse, the victim was approached and surrounded by multiple individuals believed to be connected to the protests. The man was assaulted and hit in the head with a protest sign before he was able to flee inside the building.
Taylor MCNALLIE, 30, has been charged with one count of assault with a weapon.
Jacinta PRODANIUK, 27, has been charged with one count of assault.
Our Service is committed to respecting people’s right to peaceful assembly and free speech, and we are listening to the concerns raised by the protestors. While we agree that the police accountability process needs to be improved and that steps are needed to address systemic racism, we are also very proud of the outstanding work done each and every day by the overwhelming majority of the people in our Service. We cannot forget that countless officers do their jobs with the utmost integrity, courage, fairness and compassion while we have the critical and much-needed conversation on how we can better handle cases of misconduct.
We continue to work with the province and internally to improve police accountability processes. We are now awaiting an update to the Police Act that we hope will reduce the time needed for internal disciplinary processes, and will provide more effective ways to address workplace issues, discrimination and other misconduct. Our Service has also undertaken extensive anti-racism work to try address systemic racism in policing.
Regarding the case of Constable Alex Dunn, the Chief does not have the legal authority to impose discipline or to dismiss an officer for serious misconduct. Cases where alleged misconduct is determined to be serious must, under the Police Act, be sent to a disciplinary hearing where a retired judge or a retired senior police officer rules on the case and imposes the discipline that is appropriate, up to and including dismissal. Given that this process is highly regulated and quasi-judicial, it takes time to get through it.
Constable Dunn remains relieved from duty without pay and is currently not in possession of his Service-issued firearm, use of force equipment or badge. This will not change until the conclusion of his case.