The Peterborough Police Service announced on Tuesday afternoon (May 17) they are not laying any charges in connection with last week’s protest against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, which saw a small group of protesters accost Singh with verbally abusive language.
In a video statement, acting Peterborough police chief Tim Farquharson said the two investigators assigned to the incident “scoured social media and over the past week have watched and analyzed the clips provided by various sources” and also spoke to the complainants in the matter.
“While the behaviour, actions, and comments are disrespectful and should not be encouraged or condoned, they fail to rise to the threshold of being criminal in nature,” Farquharson said, adding “We recognize that this may not be the news some have wanted to hear.”
The decision of the police that “there are no grounds to proceed with criminal charges at this time” comes on the same day Peterborough mayor Diane Therrien issued a statement condemning the protestors for their behaviour and calling on all political leaders to do the same.
“The fact that exchanges between those with differing opinions continues to be disrespectful and unproductive is troubling and the systemic undercurrent of hate and anger should bother us all as a community,” Farquharson said. “As we have during the past several years, the service continues to encourage residents to be respectful in their expression of opinion.”
In a video statement issued last Thursday (May 12), Farquharson said police would “use every investigative tool possible to deal with (the protestors’) actions.”
VIDEO: Acting Peterborough Police Chief Tim Farquharson