Siegl confronts VPD officer she claims assaulted her. Source: Danny Kresnyak/Facebook.
by Warrior Publications, Feb 14, 2015
During the nation-wide actions to “Shutdown Canada” on Feb 13, 2015, the largest turnout was in Vancouver, BC, where over 100 people blocked a main entrance to the Port of Vancouver. The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) deployed a couple dozen cops to the action, mostly members of the Public Safety Unit (PSU) in soft tac mode (baseball caps, no armour). This is fairly routine in Vancouver, where the PSU is frequently deployed for protests.
Among the PSU, one cop was observed carrying what appears to be an X-Stream large capacity pepper sprayer, which was contained inside a backpack.
VPD PSU member with what appears to be X-Stream large capacity pepper spray container in backpack. This spray can shoot 200 bursts and also create a fog out to 40 feet. Photo: Danny Kresnyak/Facebook.
There were approximately 4 arrests, although all were apparently released without charges.
VPD arresting an unknown person, Feb 13, 2015. Photo: Danny Kresnyak/Facebook.
In one incident, a member of the PSU (identified by one person as being a Constable McKinnon) appears to have deliberately walked into three women who were standing on a sidewalk at the intersection of Clark Drive and East Hastings Street. Audrey Siegel, an Indigenous woman participating in the action, had her hand drum smashed into her face as the cop bumped her, suffering bruising on the inside of her mouth.
The VPD cop can be seen approaching Siegl in this frame from an online video posted to Facebook.
In this frame, the cop’s shoulder appears to have shoved Siegl’s drum into her mouth.
Here is a link the Facebook video posted by Gunargie O’Sullivan: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153030809310664
In her own Facebook posting, Siegl stated:
“Yesterday, Feb 13, 2015, A VPD shoved Shannon& Savannah aside, and as he marched forward, looked right at me as he shoved my drum into my face with his shoulder. We three women were standing still, drumming n singing. He could have gone around instead of using aggression to intentionally intimidate and harm three unarmed and passive women. The Officer who shoved my drum into my face did apologize. It was an insincere & sarcastic apology which was accompanied by smirks, eye-rolls and comments from the other Officers to the tune of ‘I deserve it’. Yep. U read it right.
Audrey Siegl shows the injury she sustained after a VPD cop bumped her drum into her face. Facebook.
Two different officers told me I deserved it. One of those officers also said the women who got kneed and shoved to the ground deserved it. **At an event to bring awareness about the ongoing violence toward Indigenous women & the need for an enquiry in the MMIW, the POLICE used violent, unnecessary force which resulted in me getting hit in face by an OFFICER while other officers laughed, mocked and told me I deserve it.** The sergeant in command did a pathetic passing of the buck about the ‘incident’. He apologized for his officer’s actions that resulted in me getting hurt, but would not admit that is was entirely necessary for the officer to have shoved his way through us three women in the 1st place. The sergeant would also NOT address the two officers who told me I deserve it. He squirmed and would say nothing about it. In the end, I was shaken, emotional and hurt. It was confirmed, yet again, that to this system, to the VPD, I DESERVE to get hit, to have violence acted out on me. A month ago at the KM [Kinder Morgan] dinner in N Van, at a sustainable seafood restaurant, when the KM execs attacked & hurt me, the RCMP told me that because it happened on private property, that it didn’t matter if I got attacked and hurt. That what those KM execs did was perfectly acceptable because we were on private property…..welcome to 2015 folks.”
VPD Constable McKinnon. Source: Danny Kresnyak/Facebook.
Here’s another shot of the cop, has the number 2811 on his vest tag.
Update: If the cop involved in this incident is McKinnon, he was also charged in 2012 with assaulting a prisoner, according to the VPD:
Vancouver Police Constable Charged With Assault
A Vancouver Police Constable has been charged with assault in connection with the alleged striking of a prisoner in the patrol wagon.
Just before 8 a.m. on the morning of August 26, 2011, Constable Mathew McKinnon replaced a wagon driver who had been taken to hospital after she was pricked by a needle concealed in the clothing of a prisoner she was searching.
Constable McKinnon and his partner decided to approach the prisoner to ask him whether he had any communicable diseases. It is alleged that Constable McKinnon entered the wagon and assaulted the prisoner using physical force.
The prisoner was then taken to jail without further incident, examined by a jail nurse, and required no medical treatment.
Constable McKinnon has been reassigned to non-operational duties pending the outcome of his trial. The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner was immediately advised of the incident and has been overseeing the Police Act investigation that is being conducted by the VPD Professional Standards Section.
As this matter is now before the courts, there is no further information for release at this time.