The petition lists several concerns, including reports of “some police officers removing name tags” during the shelter siege at the old Halifax Memorial Library on August 18.

Petition calls for a full investigation of police actions during the shelter siege

East Coast Prison Justice Society wants your help asking for “an independent, civilian review of the Halifax Regional Police's actions on August 18.”

An online petition is making the rounds on Halifax social media to demand a full and independent investigation into the actions of Halifax Regional Police during the shelter siege on August 18th. Police used pepper spray against the crowd protesting the removal of crisis shelters, and arrested 24 people.

The petition was started by the East Coast Prison Justice Society, a hub for prison justice advocacy concerned with advancing legislative and policy reform around policing in Nova Scotia. This group belongs to the Nova Scotia Policing Policy Working Group, the same group that, back in June of this year, prepared a report for Halifax's Board Of Police Commissioners to help define what 'defunding the police' in the HRM looks like.

The Board of Police Commissioners—city councillors Lindell Smith, Becky Kent and Lisa Blackburn, as well as Anthony Thomas and Caroll McDougall—are on the receiving end of the online petition created on Change.org last Thursday. The petition claims the actions of Halifax Regional Police on August 18 “reflect longstanding and systemic issues with policing in HRM, including the Municipality's reliance on police to address complex social needs; excessive force by police; and the militarization of the police.”

Petitioners demand “that the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners order an independent, civilian review of the Halifax Regional Police's actions on August 18, 2021, in coordination with any related reviews or investigations that may be ordered by HRM Regional Council.”

By the morning of Wednesday September 8, the petition was a little over 300 signatures away from reaching the 1,500 signatures benchmark. Click here to read the petition and consider signing.

About The Author

Oriol Salvador

Oriol is the social media manager for The Coast. He is a journalist from Barcelona, Spain who has been living in Halifax since July 2019. He is interested in everything, from pop culture, arts and entertainment to politics and social issues. At The Coast, he oversees the social media strategy and the daily newsletter...

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