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Toronto police lay charges, investigate assault allegations following Saturday protests

Last Updated May 17, 2021 at 5:48 pm EDT

Anti-Lockdown, Anti-mask, and Anti Lockdown protesters gather and rally at Queens Park. Police were on hand monitoring the demonstration. Ontario tightens restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on May 15, 2021. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Summary

Police charged a person after allegedly assaulting a police officer after a demonstration at Queen's Park on Saturday


Police also laid charges against two people after a rally at Nathan Phillips Square


Investigators are looking into social media videos that show an alleged assault on a person near Nathan Phillips Square.


Toronto police say they have laid a variety of charges following two separate demonstrations in the city’s downtown core.

On Saturday afternoon, a large group marched from Queen’s Park and through the downtown core.

Photos and video from the scene appeared to show people carrying signs with messages of opposition to the province’s COVID-19 policies and the use of vaccines.

Two police officers received minor injuries during the demonstration, including an officer who was allegedly bitten, police said in a news release Sunday.

Tarik Khaled Elzaabalawi, 24, of Mississauga, has been charged with two counts of Assault Peace Officer and Mischief Under $5,000.

Police have not released any further information regarding the circumstances of the alleged assaults.

Elzaabalawi appeared in court on Sunday morning.

Charges laid following Nathan Phillips Square demonstration

Thousands fill Nathan Phillips Square as the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) hold a demonstration against the Israel/Gaza Strip clashes. Ontario tightens restrictions to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto. May 15, 2021.

 

Police also laid charges at a demonstration at Nathan Phillips Square late Saturday afternoon.

Thousands of people had gathered for a vocal but relatively peaceful protest in response to the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

A heavy police presence was on hand for what they estimated to be a gathering of between 2,500 to 5,000 people.

The protest was organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement, which called for similar demonstrations in over 25 North American cities this weekend including Los Angeles, Boston, and Philadelphia.

“Police are continuing to investigate this event and have been clear that organizers and attendees of events are subject to enforcement and that charges can be laid in the days following events,” police said in a news release Sunday.

Police said they laid charges against two people in connection to the protests.

Twenty-two-year-old Thornhill resident Hamza Alkiswany was charged with one count of Assault.

A second person, Connor Campbell, 29, of Toronto has been charged with Bring Weapon to Public Meeting.

The circumstances around the charges have not been released by the police at this time.

Police investigate social media video showing alleged assault

*WARNING: violent content.  Videos show an alleged assault near Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday.*

Investigators also said Sunday they are looking into videos circulating on social media that allegedly show a person being assaulted by a group of people.

The videos, which were released on Twitter on Saturday evening, appear to show a group of people attacking and chasing a person with sticks. In another scene, two groups appear to be attacking each other.

Car alarms and the sounds of people yelling and screaming can be heard in the video.

 

“This incident took place outside of Nathan Phillips Square and is being actively investigated by police,” police said in a news release. “The public are also asked to please contact 52 Division with any information, including images or videos. The Service will provide an update as soon as possible.”