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Hamilton councillor apologizes for ‘mischaracterizing’ actions of police officers

Protestors pitched tents in the forecourt at Hamilton city hall on Nov. 23, 2020 for a protest calling for a redirection of police funds to mitigate alleged on-going housing issues in Hamilton. The tents were removed by city bylaw officers on Nov 30.
Protestors pitched tents in the forecourt at Hamilton city hall on Nov. 23, 2020 for a protest calling for a redirection of police funds to mitigate alleged on-going housing issues in Hamilton. The tents were removed by city bylaw officers on Nov 30. Global News File

Ward 3 Coun. Nrinder Nann has offered a “sincere apology” for mischaracterizing the actions of a pair of Hamilton police officers.

The apology, issued during a general issues committee meeting on Thursday, follows an investigation into her accusation that two officers intimidated a young person who had been involved in a “defund the police” demonstration at city hall.

Read more: Hamilton councillor alleges intimidation by police, as demonstration continues at city hall

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger says the investigation found that the incident in question was a “routine traffic stop” on Barton Street, three kilometres away from city hall, and had no connection to the protests.

Eisenberger adds that it was “an unfortunate allegation made very publicly.”

Nann acknowledges that “I mischaracterized the officers involved in the traffic violation, and I sincerely apologize.”

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She does add, however, that “the experiences of marginalized individuals of police intimidation is a real experience” and something she will continue to fight against as Hamilton’s first elected woman of colour.

Read more: Demonstrators arrested for trespassing after proposed meeting with Hamilton mayor collapses

The apology came one day after 18 “defund police” protestors were arrested and charged with trespassing at city hall, when they refused to leave as the building was closing for the day.

The demonstrators have been calling for the mayor to meet publicly with all members of their group regarding their demands for a 50 per cent cut in funding to the Hamilton Police Service and the reallocating of that money to “free housing.”

Mayor Eisenberger says he remains willing to have a “conversation” inside city hall with organizers of the movement, but he’s not interested in a “confrontation.”

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