Councillors Wilson and Nann call for an independent review of Hamilton Police Services response to the events at Hamilton's Pride Celebration.
For Immediate Release
July 5, 2019
On Thursday, July 4th, 2019, we met with Hamilton Police Chief Girt, Deputy Chief Bergen, and other members of the Hamilton Police Service. The meeting took place in the Mayor’s boardroom and lasted approximately two hours. Mayor Fred Eisenberger was also in attendance. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the events that unfolded at the Hamilton Pride event in Gage Park on June 15, 2019, the violence which ensued within the park, and the work of the
Police Service in anticipating and responding to this violence. The topic of hate crime in Hamilton was also discussed, along with the Services’ relationship with Hamilton’s 2SLGTBQ+ community.
We have subsequently written to Police Chief Girt requesting a follow-up meeting. We have additional questions in light of the information provided and the discussion that took place during the session.
We take what happened at the Hamilton Pride Celebration very seriously. We are deeply troubled by the rise of hate in our city, our country, and around the globe. It is our collective responsibility as citizens to ensure that no one experiences harassment or abuse, that no one lives in fear, and that every person has the opportunity to contribute their best efforts to our city.
Before and after this meeting, we met with and spoke to residents who attended the Pride event on June 15th. In addition, we reached out to members of the 2SLGTBQ+ community in Hamilton to listen and learn about their experiences.
We remain concerned with the following:
- The Hamilton Police Services’ deployment plan on June 15th
- The fractured relationships between the Hamilton Police Service, the City of Hamilton, and the 2SLGTBQIA+ community
- The individuals who came with the intent to publicly incite hatred, to willfully promote hate, and with the intent to cause harm and be violent toward our Pride community
- A 2SLGTBQIA+ community that is experiencing trauma and heightened fear
As a result, we are writing to the Hamilton Police Services Board to request:
- The launch of an independent investigation of the Police Services response to the attack on the Pride participants on June 15, 2019;
- That Hamilton Police Services, in partnership with members of communities who are subjected to hate, create an engagement protocol when preparing safety and security measures;
- Conduct a community-led review of hate crimes and hate-based investigations to improve service delivery for victims of hate-based activity.
Maureen Wilson Nrinder Nann
Councillor Ward 1 Councillor Ward 3