A small but dominant group, who chanted “self-defense is not a crime,” came out to support Taylor McNallie, the outspoken anti-racism activist who was charged with assault in connection with a rally in Red Deer in September.
McNallie’s first court appearance was scheduled in Red Deer Tuesday and her supporters showed up with signs that read: “I stand with Taylor.”
Kisha Daniels, co-founder of Black and Indigenous Alliance Alberta, said McNallie is a respected advocate deserving of their support.
“Anybody else in that situation who had been harassed relentlessly for five months to the point she has to have security at home, to be charged with self-defense is unconscionable and is a very poor decision by the RCMP,” Daniels said.
Callum Daniels also with the Black and Indigenous Alliance Alberta.
“The police on September 20th were there to arrest our folks first,” Daniels said. “The other side came in attacking us and the police tried to arrest one of our peaceful protesters right off the bat then they charge Taylor?”
At the time the charges were laid RCMP said they wouldn’t comment because the matter is before the courts.
Previously, Red Deer RCMP Supt. Gerald Grobmeier said that an initial investigation was opened following a confrontation between both groups on Sept. 20, but a larger investigation was opened once videos surfaced online.
“There was an initial investigation for one particular event — not what we saw on the video,” he said at the time. “As soon as we became aware of the video and learned there was more to it prior to our arrival, we opened up a larger investigation.”
In October, Trevor Lyle Roy, 42, of Penhold, Alta., was also charged with assault in connection with an incident at the demonstration. Roy is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 17, 2020.
Global News’ interview with rally organizers Tuesday morning was interrupted multiple times by a handful of people who showed up to court to counter McNallie’s supporters. RCMP were there to diffuse the tension. The two sides argued back and forth but it didn’t escalate beyond words.
Taylor Mcnallie wasn’t there in person and the case was adjourned until December 1, 2020. She issued a statement through her lawyer.
“Ms. McNallie appreciates the support she has received and continues to receive. She looks forward to resolving these matters appropriately before the courts. Ms. McNallie will continue to confront the entrenched racism and related systemic issues faced by BIPOC Canadians.”
- With files from Phil Heidenreich
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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