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No criminal charges for Peterborough protesters for accosting NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh: police

Protesters accost federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in Peterborough, Ont., on May 10, 2022. TikTok video screenshot

Peterborough police say pending new information, there are no current grounds to proceed with criminal charges after protesters accosted federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh last week.

Hours after Mayor Diane Therrien asked political leaders to condemn the May 10 incident in the downtown core, acting Peterborough Police Service chief Tim Farquharson released a statement and video on Tuesday afternoon, noting that two investigators had a “thorough” investigation after “scouring” social media and analyzing clips.

Read more: Peterborough mayor calls on political leaders to condemn ‘unacceptable attack’ on Jagmeet Singh

“Investigators also spoke with the complainants in the matter and pending new information there are no grounds to proceed with criminal charges at this time,” police stated.

The Peterborough Police Service declined to do an interview with Global News Peterborough earlier Tuesday following Therrien’s address on the incident.

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Singh was met with a barrage of insults, profanity, middle fingers and alleged threats as he entered and exited the campaign office for provincial NDP candidate Jen Deck on George Street. He called the incident one of the “most intense, threatening, insulting” experiences in his political career.

“While the behaviour, actions, and comments are disrespectful and should not be encouraged or condoned, they fail to rise to the threshold of being criminal in nature,” Farquharson said in a video.

Read more: Protesters harass federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh during visit to Peterborough

“We recognize that this may not be the news some have wanted to hear. The fact that exchanges between those with differing opinions continues to be disrespectful and unproductive is troubling and the systemic undercurrent of hate and anger should bother us all as a community.

“As we have during the past several years, the service continues to encourage residents to be respectful in their expression of opinion.”

Police last week said they were unaware of Singh’s visit to the city and were not in attendance on George Street when the incidents occurred. Farquharson thanked the community for the tips.

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“Thank you to everyone in the community who reached out to us through the Crime Line, Crime Stoppers, email and phone calls,” he said. “It is important to hear from the community and gather as much information as possible to ensure a thorough investigation.”

The RCMP also stated it was reviewing the incident but have yet to issue an update.

Anyone with further information on the incident is asked to call the Peterborough Police Crime Line at 705-876-1122 ext. 555 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.stopcrimehere.ca.

Click to play video: 'Protesters harass federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh during visit to Peterborough' Protesters harass federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh during visit to Peterborough
Protesters harass federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh during visit to Peterborough – May 12, 2022

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