Toronto Police Association expressing concern over service’s lack of support for officers amid ongoing protests

By Meredith Bond and John Marchesan

The Toronto Police Association is expressing concern over what they say is a lack of support provided to officers amid ongoing demonstrations in the city.

CityNews has obtained a memo sent by the Toronto Police Association Board to its members, saying they are concerned with the “direction provided to our members and the lack of resources that were utilized during this event.”

The memo said their members have been tasked with keeping the peace and because of this, their actions have been portrayed as being “ineffectual and negligent in their duties.”

“Nothing could be farther from the truth,” continued the memo. “You are dealing with tumultuous situations, and you deserve to be fully supported.”

It added that they are actively discussing these concerns with the Chief and Command.

It comes as Chief Myron Demkiw issued an apology in response to a video which showed Toronto police officer delivering coffee and doughnuts to one of the demonstrators on Avenue Road bridge during a pro-Palestinian demonstration.

The bridge, which is located in the heart of the Jewish community in Toronto, has been the site of several demonstrations since Oct. 7.

Chief Demkiw said he has ordered a thorough review of what took place on Saturday to ensure that the most effective operations planning and responses are in place.

“Questions have been raised regarding one particular interaction between officers and a person on the Avenue Road bridge during an hours-long demonstration,” said Demkiw.

“Whatever the intent, the impact has been to cause concern and confusion, and for that, I am sorry.”

The video sparked anger and concern as to why officers appear to be assisting the demonstrators in their occupation of the roadway especially after senior police officials made it clear several weeks ago that while people have a right to protest, certain actions would not be tolerated.

Since Oct. 7, police have managed almost 300 demonstrations across the city, ranging from several dozen to more than 25,000 people. Demkiw said that police will continue to maintain a strong presence in Jewish communities to ensure safety and security “for the foreseeable future.”

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