Ontario Provincial Police superintendent hopes the public shows compassion toward the Toronto police officer who delivered coffee to protesters

Paul Wells, a political journalist on the left asks questions Ontario Provincial Police A/Supt. Marcel Beaudin who sits on the right.
Ontario Provincial Police Assistant Supt. Marcel Beaudin (right) joined the Paul Wells show podcast taping hosted by Paul Wells (left) on Jan. 31, 2024, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Haruka Ide /Toronto Observer)  

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Assistant Supt. Marcel Beaudin said he hopes that the Toronto police officers who delivered coffee to pro-Palestinian demonstrators can be forgiven.

Toronto Police Service closed the overpass on Avenue Road at Highway 401 to keep demonstrators and passing traffic safe on Jan. 6, according to Toronto Police Operations on X, formerly known as Twitter. A video posted on the platform by lawyer Caryma Sa’d shows two officers handing a box of coffee and cups to protesters with Palestinian flags.

In a statement posted on X the next day, Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw apologized for the “concern and confusion” caused by “one particular interaction between officers and a person.”

Beaudin declined to comment on the specifics of the incident but shared his general thoughts on the Toronto police officers’ actions in response to questions from the audience after a taping of the Paul Wells Show podcast on Jan. 31.

“I feel bad for people when they’re trying to do something that likely was well intended, (and) that wasn’t thought out and I hope that we can find places of leave room, or forgiveness and compassion for those numbers as well.”

Beaudin said because he could understand the motivation for the acts of police officers as “trying to ease tensions.”

Beaudin said that in general, maintaining impartiality in protest situations. Police run the risk of being perceived as sympathetic toward protesters.

Beaudin’s conversation with Wells was wide-ranging and also touched on his will to serve community, his experience running the OPP’s Indigenous Policing Bureau and how law enforcement responded to the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa.

On Jan. 23, Federal Court judge ruled that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act to address the 2022 Freedom Convoy protest in Ottawa was unreasonable and unjustified.

The Emergencies Act gives the federal government powers to address “temporary and critical situation that seriously endangers the health and safety of Canadians” or that seriously threatens the ability of the Government of Canada to preserve the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Canada.”

Beaudin testified at the inquiry into the use of the Emergencies Act after the protests, but he said he was not in a position to comment on the Federal Court’s ruling.

“I’m not a lawmaker. I basically follow rules and laws that are within police powers,” he said.

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Posted: Feb 2 2024 8:59 am
Filed under: Fire and police Government News Politics