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All Canadians have the right to speak their mind and nowhere is this truer than in a local city council meeting. When one man was clapping during a city council meeting in Oshawa earlier this week, however, the mayor evicted him from the council chamber and he was forcibly removed. Video of his removal appears to show security guards and plain clothes officers roughing him up and at one point putting him in a head lock. Yet it was the man who was removed who will now face assault charges.
While it may be that this man’s actions were disruptive during the city council meeting, one of the Oshawa regional and city councillors has expressed his anger over the incident, saying “Clapping doesn’t constitute a violation in which someone has to be choked out, taken down and thrown out of council chambers.”
The individual who filmed the incident was also heard on the tap pleading with officers to stop assaulting the man.
While the man may have resisted initially being removed from the council chambers, the video showed little else that would warrant an assault charge. Should prosecutors hope to convict him, they will need to show evidence that he acted violently on the night of the city council meeting. This could be difficult, especially since the amateur video seems to catch police being violent and the man being manhandled.
When asked for comment, Oshawa Mayor John Henry said that he was glad to have protected the public and city staff, although it is not quite clear from what he was protecting them.
Source: CBC, “Oshawa city council brawl leads to assault charges,” 4 Sept. 2013