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Calgary police officer accuses Ottawa police of ‘doing politicians’ dirty work’

CPS officer Nick Motycka, in an undated photo, posted a video to social media saying Ottawa officers were "doing politician’s dirty work like hired goons" when seizing fuel during the ongoing occupation in the nation's capital. Facebook

A man identifying himself as a 10-year member of the Calgary Police Service is calling Ottawa police “goons” for stopping fuel runs into what Ottawa’s police chief called an “occupation” of the nation’s capital.

In a video posted on many social media platforms, the man identifies himself as Nick Motycka and said he has been with CPS for the past decade and was with the RCMP for six years before that.

A CPS spokesperson said Const. Nick Motycka has been on leave due to an undisclosed matter for a period of time before the video was posted.

Reading from a written statement that appeared to be in handwriting, Motycka said watching Ottawa officers seize fuel removed what he thought was a “lasting truth… that the police are here, when push comes to shove, to protect and help people.”

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“What I saw was the police doing politicians’ dirty work like hired goons,” the CPS officer said.

Motycka also claimed there’s “clear political influence on the police to physically exert political will on peaceful protesters for nothing more than possible political gain” and accused the officers of breaching Charter rights.

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The comments aren’t sitting well with one criminology professor.

“We have a democratic system that dictates the laws (which) reflect the will of the people,” MRU associate professor Kelly Sundberg said. “If those enforcing the laws pick and choose or start to decide that they somehow have a right to inform how those laws are enforced, democracy starts to erode.

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“(With this video) we are not having the will of the people. We’re having the will of a chosen police officer or their executive, and this makes for a scary world.”

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Calgary police said they’ve opened an investigation into the video posted by Motycka.

Sundberg stressed that in Western democracies, if a population doesn’t like the laws, regular elections allow for a change in government and change in laws.

“I’m really dismayed to see these officers passing judgment on other officers in a different province in a really hard situation,” Sundberg said. “Those officers in Ottawa are having it tough enough. They don’t need to have armed armchair quarterbacks weighing in on how they’re doing.

“It makes their job even more difficult now because people could say all these cops in Calgary are saying that you’re doing something wrong.”

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Police forces in Canada act independently of elected officials and don’t receive policing direction from them.

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Addressing a news conference about the Coutts border protest, Alberta’s acting minister of Justice and Solicitor General Sonya Savage said actions taken by RCMP attending that protest are left to their discretion.

“It’s up to police to determine how they will address the blockade and how they will enforce the law,” Savage said Tuesday.

The MRU professor said comments like Motycka’s encourage the circumventing of democracy, calling it a “slippery slope” and was concerned with how officers sympathetic to protests in either province could use their extraordinary powers.

“The vast majority of women and men in law enforcement in this country understand the importance of rule of law, understand the importance of democracy and understand the importance of using balanced and ethical decision making,” Sundberg said.

“Unfortunately, there are some who don’t seem to understand the difference between democratic processes, rule of law and their discretion.”

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He commended the job Ottawa Police Service (OPS) Chief Peter Sloly and those officers were doing in a difficult situation.

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“The grievances have been heard and the police allowed them to do that. The police, in fact, did the right thing by ensuring that protests could happen, ensured the people were safe and doing the protest. And I think they did a really good job on doing that.”

The Ottawa occupation has been going on for 13 days, with occupiers setting up structures and supply depots in the streets.

Ottawa police warned against bringing supplies like fuel to protesters on Parliament Hill, saying they would be arrested.

On Monday, Sloly said a convoy encampment set up in a parking lot on Coventry Road was “dismantled” and “thousands of litres of propane and gasoline” were seized in the past 24 hours.

Sloly also made a request to provincial and federal governments for 1,800 more officers to sustain a push started over the weekend to rout out the occupiers.

Also on Monday, a judge granted an injunction preventing trucks taking part in the occupation from honking their horns, previously a round-the-clock practise for protesters in apartment-lined streets.

On Wednesday, OPS issued a warning to the occupiers they would begin arresting people for blocking or assisting with the blocking of streets.

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— with files from Global News’ Aya Al-Hakim, Rachel Gilmore & Craig Lord, and The Canadian Press

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