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'We're better than this': Surrey councillor wants apology from mayor and party over social media post
SURREY, B.C. -- June 2 update: Safe Surrey Coaltion tweet on Dale Culver case was 'divisive and defamatory,' B.C.'s top Mountie says
A social media post made by the Safe Surrey Coalition, the local political party under whose banner Mayor Doug McCallum was elected, is getting severe backlash.
“We’re better than this,” said city councillor Jack Hundial. “This is not what Surrey’s about.”
The post read, “Poorly trained RCMP murder a defenceless man and then delete video evidence to cover up their crime.”
It referenced an incident in 2017 that happened in Prince George, when officers were called for reports that a man appeared to be “casing” vehicles, according to a news release from the Independent Investigations Office, which determined this week that charges should be considered against officers involved in the incident.
The incident involved a struggle when police moved to arrest the suspect, and officers say pepper spray was used. The man appeared to be having trouble breathing, and he died a short time later.
The post has since been removed from all of Safe Surrey Coalition’s social media pages. CTV News Vancouver reached out to Mayor Doug McCallum for comment, but has not heard back.
Two city councillors who are members of the political party sent statements. Doug Elford was the first member to react to the post.
“I thought the tweet was inappropriate and asked to have it removed," he told CTV News.
Laurie Guerra said she doesn’t have Twitter, but was told about the post.
“I thought it was unacceptable,” she told CTV News. “I also requested that the full post on all social media platforms be taken down.”
Hundial is calling for an outright apology from all the members of the party, and asking for “some transparency around their social media, because even after the tweet was taken down, there’s still a barrage of posting negative, really slanted articles.”
He’s also suggested the tweet shows an “overall hate” of the RCMP.
One of the campaign promises by the Safe Surrey Coalition was to transition from the RCMP to a municipal police force. McCallum has said it should happen by April 2021.
Hundial wants to hear from the province’s Minister of Public Safety Mike Farnworth about the post.
“Minister Farnsworth needs to do a sober second thought,” he said. “Every day there’s dwindling support for this.”
Farnworth’s office told CTV News it has no comment about the post and does not comment on investigations or matters before the court.
CTV News reached out to the RCMP but has not heard back.