B.C. band furious over pepper spray incident

Posted: July 5, 2007 in BC, Headlines, Natives, RCMP

Several aboriginal parents in a town northwest of Vancouver plan to file a complaint with the RCMP after a community celebration ended in pepper spray use and a confrontation with officers. It all happened Monday night in Sechelt, B.C., after the Sechelt band’s two youth teams won first prize at a soccer tournament in Vancouver.

The parents said it is a community tradition to celebrate with a grand entrance by honking horns. RCMP Const. Annie Linteau said Tuesday police saw 10 youths standing in the back of a pickup truck, and tried to stop the vehicle.

She said when the driver finally stopped, he approached the officers in a hostile manner. In addition, a crowd of 50 to 75 people quickly became confrontational.

“Here they are dealing with a combative suspect who is yet to be handcuffed, yet to be in a controlled environment like the police car,” Linteau said. “Meanwhile they have a crowd obstructing them in their duties and becoming combative themselves.”

Shannon Phillips said she was carrying her baby and tried to intervene on behalf of her husband, Troy Myers, who was the driver of the pickup truck.

“They pepper sprayed him and when I went to say, ‘What are you doing?’ they turned around and pepper sprayed me and Kaden — quite a few times, actually.”

Calvin Craigan, a former chief with the Sechelt band, told CBC Radio Tuesday that band members are “going to have a session with the RCMP” and demand an explanation.

EDIT: NOW.. Before we start reacting to the fact that some people got pepper sprayed here, be sure to read the full story and the many many comments on this incident from Canadian citizens and an RCMP officer.

One sample comment from a witness:

“(The child’s) parents made a decision to bring those kids there and I have to say the people who got pepper-sprayed, including the mother of that particular child, was exhibiting a very confrontational pulling of the (police) member, pushing of the members,” she said. “This is considered a combative behaviour.”

Read the full story and all of the comments here

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