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Grobmeier said a larger investigation was launched following the rally. A victim of an alleged assault had spoken to officers but did not come to the station. He said any formal charges have to be done after the investigation is completed, which includes the victim and witnesses coming forward.
Alberta’s Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said he spoke with RCMP and Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer about the incident and offered his department’s support. He said the investigation will “get to the bottom” of what happened.
“Violence and threats of violence at peaceful protests are unacceptable, period. All Albertans, regardless of race, religion, or creed, have the right to live their lives peacefully and I denounce any instance of bigotry and intolerance,” he said. “Disagreeing does not entitle one to use violence. We can and should disagree on public policy and discuss issues without resorting to violence.”
Madu said he continues to have confidence in the RCMP to handle these kinds of incidents. He echoed what Grobmeier said about protesters coming from outside communities to join rallies.
“The people behind it are not necessarily all from Red Deer,” he said. “My understanding at this point in time is that these protests are being organized in several cities in our province. It is not limited to Red Deer.”
Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer during the news conference also denounced violence and racism. However, neither she nor Grobmeier or Madu named any specific group responsible for what happened at the rally.
“The city, like the RCMP, respects Canada’s constitutional rights of citizens to peacefully assemble. However, we unequivocally denounce violence, we unequivocally denounce racism in our community,” she said. “It is highly concerning for our community that the unacceptable actions of some have incited division and violence in our city.”
— With files from Postmedia, Emma Spears and Ashley Joannou
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