FACT CHECK: Did Half Of Ottawa Police Recently Resign In Response To The ‘Freedom Convoy’?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook claims 50% of Ottawa’s police force resigned during the “Freedom Convoy” protests in the city.

Verdict: False

The Ottawa Police Service stated there were no resignations attributed to the protest.

Fact Check:

A group of protesters associated with the “Freedom Convoy” have been demonstrating in Ottawa against COVID-19-related rules for two weeks, according to BBC News. Some of the protesters have blocked streets in the city, prompting the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) to threaten them with arrest if they continue to do so, Business Insider reported.

In a Feb. 7 Facebook livestream, a bearded man claims that half of Ottawa’s police force resigned due to the demonstration and several other police forces have turned and “backed away” from the area. “50% of Ottawa police have sent in their resignations,” reads the video’s caption. “The other police forces are leaving.”(RELATED: Does This Video Show Brazilian Trucks Supporting The Canadian ‘Freedom Convoy’?)

Check Your Fact could not find a single credible news report online suggesting that such a large number of officers resigned from the OPS at once. There is no statement or press release regarding any resignations during the protest on the OPS website.

“There is no truth to this,” a spokesperson from OPS told Check Your Fact in an email. “There have been no resignations due to the demonstration. All available Ottawa Police Officers are working.”

Check Your Fact found no credible reports regarding any other police forces near Ottawa standing down either. Ontario Provincial Police, along with other law enforcement departments, have decided to deploy officers to the Canadian capital to assist OPS, Business Insider reported.

Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly asked Feb. 8 for more law enforcement personnel to respond to the demonstrations, claiming his department was unable to do so alone, according to Ottawa Citizen. Sloly has also refused calls to resign from his position regarding his handling of the situation, CTV News reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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