Ontario News Aug 31, 2020 5:09 PM EST

Ontario's SIU looking into incident at Toronto protest, seven officers injured, arrests made

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit is investigating a Saturday night incident that ended with two people arrested and seven Toronto Police officers injured.

Ontario's SIU looking into incident at Toronto protest, seven officers injured, arrests made
Joe Vaughan The Post Millennial
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Ontario's Special Investigations Unit is investigating a Saturday night incident that ended with two people arrested and seven Toronto Police officers injured.

CP24 reports that the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked its mandate following an altercation during a rally near Eglinton and Oakwood.

The rally's purpose was to stir up support for black-owned businesses during COVID-19 and the construction of the Crosstown LRT, which has also effected that area's businesses. Protestors demanded that "gentrification on Eglinton West has got to go."

Police told reporters that they responded to calls just before 8 p.m. on Saturday that brought them to the rally. At first, "individuals were having a peaceful protest", Toronto Police Constable Edward Parks said.  

Things soon changed when a man went into the intersection and jumped on a car that was not involved in the protest. “Officers went out to engage that individual at which time that individual became aggressive, assaulting that officer,” Parks said.

The individual was tased by police and was beginning to be apprehended when another man tried to remove police from atop of him. The other protester that jumped in to stop the arrest was then apprehended. Both men allegedly assaulted police.

Both men were arrested on scene.

One man was charged with mischief over $5000, four counts of assaulting a peace officer, disarming a police officer, assault, and obstructing a peace officer.

The other man has been charged with assaulting a police officer with a weapon, assaulting a peace officer, two counts of uttering threats, obstructing a peace officer, and failure to comply with probation.

A total of four police officers were hospitalized out of the seven police officers hurt during the altercation.

As of Sunday morning, all officers have been released from hospital and are resting at home.

The province's SIU has been called to investigate the incident.

The SIU investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault.

The SIU has asked anyone who may have information on the incident to contact the lead investigator at 1-800-787-8529. They're also asking the public for any videos of the incident.

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