Ontario cop posts video supporting anti-vax truck convoy and says we're at war
Throughout almost two years of lockdowns and other public health restrictions, police across Ontario have found themselves on the front lines of bitter protests led by the so-called freedom movement against government and health officials.
They've also faced allegations of choosing sides in the matter, and one Ontario cop is leaving no questions as to where she falls in the debate.
Cops' personal stances on vaccination policy remain of interest to the public, fuelled by notable events including a series of restaurant protests in Toronto this past summer where police officers were recorded showing reluctance to enforce the law and the high-profile canning of Doug Ford's anti-vax cop son-in-law.
But a video that emerged Monday morning includes a blunt admission from an Ontario police officer, admitting that she is not only supportive of the convoy of anti-vax truckers wreaking havoc on provincial highways, but is actually a prominent voice within an anti-vax organization of current and former cops.
"I'm Constable Erin Howard coming to you from Ontario, Canada," the video begins, showing the officer in uniform in a darkened vehicle.
"I just really wanted to give a shoutout to all the truckers, I really think what you're doing is incredible," she continues. "You're fighting for our rights and freedoms, and right now it feels like we're a little bit at war, and those rights and freedoms are at stake. So you guys are honestly true heroes."
Supporting the truckers from one radio band to another 💙 #FreedomConvoy2022 pic.twitter.com/u6IzZSipTG— EA (@erinhoward0118) January 24, 2022
Howard states she is headed to Ottawa to speak on behalf of "Police on Guard," a group that identifies as active duty and retired police officers "who have assembled to create a haven of truth and justice for all members."
Her involvement is being called a "red flag" while also opening the door for intrepid Twitter sleuths to share the identities of other officers involved in the group.
Even if it was just a figure of speech, Howard's use of the word "war" is concerning to some, especially given her role as a peace officer expected to enforce Ontario's health restrictions.
Stating the country is at war, also not super cool to hear from a cop.— Alistair James (@brundle_fly) January 24, 2022
And it seems that while she may have the support of some current and former badge-holders, the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) is not on board with Howard's provocative statement.
Less than seven hours after Howard posted the video to Twitter, DRPS fired back with a tweet of their own, stating that the department was "made aware today of a video circulating on social media from one of our uniformed members regarding the Freedom Rally."
The tweet condemns Howard's video but doesn't indicate whether the officer will face repercussions, saying, "the views expressed in that video do not reflect the views and opinions of DRPS. We are currently looking into this matter."
Whatever the outcome, it may not be enough for some. One on Twitter calls for Howard's badge to be revoked, while another suggests an immediate suspension is warranted.
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