WATCH: We’re learning the identity of the man shot and killed by Dawson Creek RCMP last week as a group threatens retaliation against the officers involved. John Daly reports.
A group claiming to be Anonymous is striking back after a fatal police-involved shooting in Dawson Creek last week.
The BC Coroners Service identified the shooting victim as James McIntyre, a 48-year-old Dawson Creek resident who worked as a dishwasher and part-time cook.
Police said they shot the man after he refused to comply with officers’ instructions.
Eyewitness video posted online showed a man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask lying bloodied on the ground while two Mounties faced him with weapons drawn.
The smiling Fawkes mask has become a symbol for Anonymous. Fawkes was the most well-known member of a plot to blow up the British Parliament in 1605.
The hacktivist group issued a press release claiming the man killed last Thursday as one of their own and vowed revenge against the RCMP. It promised to identify the officer involved and release his personal information on the Internet.
The group took credit for shutting down some RCMP websites, although government officials claim it was maintenance.
Others associated with the hacktivist group raised questions about further actions, saying:
“No Canadian Anonymous that we know of supports the outing of the RCMP officer or the screams for ‘vengeance’ at this time.”
WATCH: Who is Anonymous?
Global BC reached out via social media to a person who claims to be part of Anonymous. In an online exchange, reporter Jeremy Hunka asked a series of questions. The following responses are on behalf of a group of Canadian Anonymous members.
Here is the full exchange:
Was it Anonymous that shut down the RCMP websites today, and if so, why?
Anonymous does not mean Unanimous. @OpAnonDown is being claimed by a USian named Christopher Doyon, aka Commander X, who tends to trick younger Anon prospects into committing illegal activities such as DDoSing websites. Many Anons are outraged over this week’s shooting of a man in a Guy Fawkes mask outside of a BC Hydro open house meeting and they are supporting the op because of their outrage, but many others find the op and any association with Commander X to be extremely counterproductive.
What next steps will you take against the RCMP?
Anonymous amplifies voices of the oppressed when they are not being heard. If Canada continues to follow the path of violent policing set by their neighbours to the south instead of bringing their policing back in line with the rest of the developed world, we will assist any efforts brought by the people to encourage retraining and new regulations for the police.
What are your main concerns with the police action in Dawson Creek?
It is obvious that Canada has an escalating problem with police violence. The BC RCMP (one province) has shot three people to death in ten days. We are deeply shocked that the RCMP, who are traditionally known to be highly trained, resorted to shooting a man to death when non-lethal force would have been enough to subdue the suspect.
Social media accounts suggest the man shot in Dawson Creek was an Anonymous member. Is that true? How was he affiliated? Do you know his identity?
No proof of his identity is public at the time of this interview and we have no reason to release anything we know of his identity. However it should not matter if he was Anon or First Nations, he was a person and now he is dead. Police killings in Canada are increasing and it is a worrying trend we must nip at the bud before it becomes an epidemic. No one wants Canada to look like the US.
Why was Anonymous protesting the Site C Dam?
Canada was formerly a resource corporation known as the Hudson’s Bay Company. Canada’s laws have aided the more than 75% of the world’s resource corporations registered here to avoid legal responsibility for their human rights and environmental disasters worldwide. Anonymous OpCanary was pushing SiteC protests because the RCMP are protecting resource corporations over the public at large and helping enforce unjust action against First Nations, as happens globally.
Will Anonymous be publicizing the name of the police officer suspected of shooting the victim from Dawson Creek even if his identity is unconfirmed? Could that put an innocent person in jeopardy?
No Canadian Anonymous that we know of supports the outing of the RCMP officer or the screams for ‘vengeance’ at this time. We are waiting to see if there is an effective independent review from the IIO and a trial. There are certain Anons, mostly from the US, who do not understand how a working legal system may function. They may feel that outing the RCMP officer is an appropriate step and we have no control or influence over them. We also have no control over anons who may run out of patience with the ridiculously slow process many of these reviews are.
What are your demands to the RCMP?
We want to see the officer who shot the man in Dawson Creek charged and we want retraining of Canadian police in de-escalation and non-lethal weapons. We would like to see Canada work towards disarming the police in a manner similar to Japan or the UK and we would like to see far less emulation of the US. We also would like more transparency and media focus on the number of police deaths in Canada and the actions taken in each case. It is obvious the numbers have risen dramatically but information is not easily accessible or widely known to Canadians.
What are your accusations against the RCMP based on? Do you have members on the ground in Dawson Creek?
Anonymous is everywhere including in Dawson Creek. We have seen no evidence that #OpAnonDown has any contact with the local anons however, it seems to be operating on its own.
What is your main message?
In 1984, Denis Lortie stormed into the National Assembly of Quebec building and opened fire with several firearms, killing three Quebec government employees and wounding 13 others. The National Assembly’s Sergeant-at-Arms, René Jalbert, after Lorie fired his C-1 Submachine gun inches from his face, persuaded Lortie to talk to him for over four hours and ultimately surrender with no further violence. That is the gold standard of de-escalation and peacekeeping that Canada was once famous for. We would like law enforcement policy and training to reject the new paranoia and return to the model used formerly in Canada and used currently in all the places with far less police violence than Canada. Canada is not the US, we do not tolerate street executions.
WATCH: Is Anonymous becoming the ‘modern-day technological Robin Hood’?
-With files from Jeremy Hunka, Yuliya Talmazan and Canadian Press