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Canadaland's Jesse Brown admits: Yes, police did in fact arrest Ottawa protesters at gunpoint

Canadaland: 'Canadaland asked The Ottawa Police Service if arrests were indeed made at gunpoint, or if they challenge the New York Times’ account. Constable Paramjit Singh wrote back from the service’s Media Relations office with the following statement:

“There was a police operation on Wellington Street in the morning of February 19th regarding suspected explosives believed to be located in a vehicle. Members of the Tactical Team were also at scene at the time of the arrest; and this Team has their carbines on them and visible at all times, as part of their equipment to be readily available for exigent circumstances such as this one.”

Rebukes of the Times’ report extended beyond journalism circles. “This headline is shit and irresponsible,” tweeted actor Jay Baruchel. CBC personality Dr. Brian Goldman called a Times tweet about arrests at gunpoint “reprehensibly inaccurate,” and Dr. David Fisman, also a fixture on CBC’s airwaves, asked his 112,000 followers if they could get the hashtag “#NYTUnsubscribe” to trend....

'...Yet Sarah Maslin Nir was one of four New York Times journalists reporting from the scene of the police action last weekend (the Times sent two reporters and two photojournalists). She directed Canadaland to a series of videos posted by Globe and Mail reporter Marieke Walsh on Friday, as independent confirmation that police had indeed raised their firearms when making arrests.

'The videos, posted on the afternoon of Friday, February 19, show a police unit breaking into a camper van that was parked outside of a Chapters bookstore. Walsh reported that someone appeared to be inside the vehicle. An officer could be seen aiming his military rifle at the driver’s side window as another officer ushered Walsh and others away from the scene, yelling “Get back! Anything can happen right now!” A subsequent video, posted by Walsh two minutes later, showed police arresting the man who had been locked inside the camper van. Walsh identified him as Wayne Harvey, an Indigenous protester from the Esgenoopetitj First Nation (also known as Burnt Church) in New Brunswick. Walsh said she had interviewed him a day earlier.'

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