Date: Friday, 10 November 2023
Eleven men have been charged following a conflict that involved clashing ethnic political groups in Calgary’s northeast in early September.
The Calgary Police Service task force investigating the incident said they face rioting, assault, mischief and weapons-related charges.
“As far as the rioting charge, it’s very rare for Calgary to lead these types of (charges),” acting Deputy Chief Scott Boyd said Thursday.
“This was an extreme case where this wasn’t about peaceful protest. This was a violent clash of individuals that came with a mindset to cause violence. And that’s not tolerated in our great city.”
At around 5 p.m. on Sept. 2, officers responded to reports of more than 150 people involved in a clash that spilled into the northeast communities of Falconridge and Castleridge.
Police said there were two concurrent events hosted by members of Calgary’s Eritrean community.
Boyd said the pre-event communication between the groups that usually helps police ensure the safety of demonstrators, the public and officers, broke down.
“In this case, there was a breakdown in communication and what the groups had shared didn’t come to fruition as planned. And so we had this violent clash between the parties at a location that we had not planned for,” Boyd said.
“If the individual situation would allow for arrests to be made in the moment, of course we would examine that circumstance,” he said. “In the situation that we’re talking about, this one in particular, our members who responded to this conflict were shocked with the blatant violence that was erupting around them.
“And so, in the moment, it was not appropriate to lay charges in this violent clash.”
The charges that were announced Thursday include: