The deputy chief of the Vancouver Police Department says he is “appalled” by the “vile and abusive comments” officers have received on Twitter after a Friday rally in the city turned violent.
Deputy Chief Howard Chow took to the platform to respond to online criticism of the department’s policing tactics and for not making arrests at the International Transgender Day of Visibility rally.
Police issued a news release Saturday saying they had begun investigating “violent confrontations” that occurred when people attending the demonstration confronted a group of counter-protesters inside Vancouver’s Grandview Park.
The department has alleged at least two people were assaulted but did not provide further details.
Chow says policing demonstrations and protests are challenging, and protecting the right to free speech is “one of the most important” aspects of the job.
Investigators say they have reached out to a victim who posted a video of an assault online, and have invited that person to meet with detectives to provide a statement.
Chow says though officers did not make arrests at the time, that does not mean they won’t do so in the future.