Hamilton police response to Pride disturbance goes before police board on Thursday

Hamilton police "escorted" two groups out of Gage Park on June 15 after a disturbance related to Pride festivities. Will Erskine / Global News

The police response at the recent Pride festival at Gage Park will be front and centre when Hamilton’s police services board meets on Thursday afternoon.

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Board members will be voting on a motion to explore the costs and benefits of an independent review of events leading up to and including June 15.

Once that analysis comes back to a future meeting, the board would vote whether to proceed with an independent investigation.

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Several residents have registered to speak about the issue at the meeting and Mayor Fred Eisenberger says he is “generally in favour” of such a review.

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Speaking with CHML’s Bill Kelly during his monthly town hall on Wednesday morning, Eisenberger stated that “when there’s a lack of trust in the community — and policing is really all about trust at the end of the day — then we have an issue that needs to be dealt with.”

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The embattled mayor adds that he remains “committed to safe and secure spaces for everyone.”

Hamilton police Chief Eric Girt also said during an appearance on the Bill Kelly Show this week that he is “open” to an independent review.

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There’s been criticism that police didn’t respond quickly enough to violence involving far-right protesters and Pride supporters at last month’s Gage Park event.

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