Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum says an “unauthorized person” was to blame for the Safe Surrey Coalition’s posting and subsequent deleting of social media posts that accused RCMP officers of murdering a man and covering it up by destroying evidence.
The tweet and Facebook post were posted Friday (May 29) on the Safe Surrey Coalition’s social media accounts.
The posts stated, “Poorly trained RCMP murder a defenceless man and then delete video evidence to cover up their crime.”
Curious to know if Surrey’s mayor and council majority back the sensationalist, inflammatory and potentially libelous language of this tweet, or just the party handlers, for political gain they desire? #SurreyBC
For the record here is the tweeted story: https://t.co/KoJzbj26sW pic.twitter.com/EqQDLvkuMC
— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) May 30, 2020
The comment included a link to a news story about the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. recommending charges against five officers in the death of a Prince George man in 2017.
McCallum said on Saturday that he “wasn’t aware of it at all, and actually had no knowledge and I hadn’t even seen it until somebody phoned me about an hour ago.”
“I actually don’t agree with it and I looked into it and can say that it won’t ever happen again. It was sent out by an unauthorized person. They recognized immediately that it was a mistake and they took it off within 15 minutes,” he said.
Asked if the social media accounts would be acknowledging what happened, McCallum said, “I’m not going to put out any, but I have talked to a couple (of) press on it. I’ve also talked to the RCMP on it and they’re going to let their internal communications say exactly basically what I said to you.”
He said that he’d previously said that social media posts “would have to run by myself” in order to be posted.
“But in this case, it didn’t go past me,” McCallum explained. “We’ve corrected that and it won’t happen again. I have, and certainly Safe Surrey Coalition, have tremendous respect for the RCMP.”
Safe Surrey Coalition Councillor Laurie Guerra, who said she doesn’t use Twitter anymore, said she didn’t see the posts before they were taken down, but was made aware through text and speaking with fellow Councillor Doug Elford.
She said that Elford “talked to the powers that be at the Safe Surrey Coalition and that the tweet was taken down.”
“If I had seen it, I would have done the same thing that Councillor Elford had done and I totally agree with him. It was an unacceptable comment and I think that I would have advised to take it down immediately and I think that’s what they did.”
When asked if she knew who had access to the account and could have posted it, she said, “There’s a team of people and I don’t know who, which person or whatever, so no, I don’t know. Individually, I don’t know.”
Going forward, Guerra said she would “absolutely” want to have more control and understanding on who’s posting. She said that while she “can’t really apologize on behalf of somebody else,” she wouldn’t have put that up online.
“People make mistakes, and I’m one of them. I’m a human being and I’ve made mistakes, and I think the only thing we can do as humans is own the mistake and deal with it and move on. I think that’s what they did,” Guerra said.
“I would be very sorry to have been a part of anything that would have caused any hurt or any disrespect to anybody. That is not what I stand on, so I would be very apologetic for those comments. I wouldn’t have said those comments, and If I’d ever done any comment on any Twitter or any Facebook post that would have hurt somebody, I would have owned it and apologized for it and moved on.”
Meantime, Councillor Jack Hundial, who initially ran and was elected with Safe Surrey Coalition, said the post was “upsetting” and “beyond sickening and shameful.”
As of Saturday afternoon, Hundial hadn’t spoken with anyone on the Safe Surrey slate about the posts.
“It’s not up to me to police them as politicians… Their own moral compass should direct them in the right way.”
As for repercussions for the posts, Hundial said, you can’t accuse the officers of murder, “who, really, are through the normal course of their duty and process where there’s proposed charges — recommended through the IIO — but not even convicted or charged yet. They’re just proposed. The charges have been forwarded and we’ll see what happens.”
It could also affect those who may want to apply for the Surrey Police Department, Hundial said.
“How do you even recruit police officers, it doesn’t matter if they’re RCMP or they’re from another organization, to come forth and work in the City of Surrey when, really, the mayor, who’s also going to be the chair of the police board, will call you out potentially as a murderer when you get entwined in an investigation. how much confidence does that instill for anyone to come here to work?”
The Now-Leader has reached out to the RCMP for comment.
MacGregor Critical of Canadian Media for Coverage of 'Act of Terror' at Rideau Hall – My Cowichan Valley Now
Our local Member of Parliament is responding to Canadian Ranger Corey Hurran breaching the grounds of Rideau Hall recently with shotguns, revolvers, and a rifle.
In a tweet, Cowichan-Malahat-Langford MP Alistair MacGregor wrote, “You don’t break into the grounds where the PM lives, armed with multiple loaded firearms, wanting to have a chat.”
MacGregor said we need to call this what it is, ‘an act of terror’ and it’s surprising at the way this incident has been portrayed in the Canadian media.
“The way its been portrayed in the media is problematic because I think we need to call this out for what it is, it’s an act of terror; when a person tries to intimidate or threaten the head of our government with loaded weapons,” said MacGregor. “I’m actually quite surprised that this hasn’t been more of a newsworthy event.”
Corey Hurran, a 46-year-old Canadian Ranger from Manitoba breached the grounds of Rideau Hall, where the Prime Minister was staying on Thursday, with loaded shotguns, a rifle, and a revolver.
MacGregor said it’s surprising how the media is portraying this ‘act of terrorism,’ and this type of incident needs to be condemned.
“I just think we need to condemn this kind of thing and express our condolences to the Prime Minister and to his family, it must have been a very scary thing,” said MacGregor. “He has good security around him but the fact that it happened in the first place is very problematic.”
On Friday, Hurran was charged with 22 offences, the majority of which were firearms-related charges.
They included Careless Use of a Firearm, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose, and Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm.
He remains in custody and is expected back in court on July 17th.
U.S. looking at banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, Pompeo says – CBC.ca
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the United States is “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, suggesting it shared information with the Chinese government, a charge the company denied.
“I don’t want to get out in front of the president, but it’s something we’re looking at,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News, referencing Donald Trump.
U.S. lawmakers have raised national security concerns over TikTok’s handling of user data, saying they were worried about Chinese laws requiring domestic companies “to support and co-operate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Pompeo said Americans should be cautious in using the short-form video app owned by China-based ByteDance.
“Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo remarked when asked if he would recommend that people download TikTok.
In response to his comments, TikTok told Reuters it has never provided user data to China.
“We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked,” TikTok said in an emailed statement.
The app, which is not available in China, has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience.
Increasing China-U.S. tensions
Pompeo’s remarks also come amid increasing U.S.-China tensions over the handling of the coronavirus outbreak, China’s actions in the former British colony of Hong Kong and a nearly two-year trade war.
TikTok was recently banned in India along with 58 other Chinese apps after a border clash between India and China.
Reuters reported late on Monday that TikTok would exit the Hong Kong market within days, after China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the region.
Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with the guarantee of freedoms and far-reaching autonomy under a “one country, two systems” formula agreed to with Britain.
EU executive expresses concern over Hungary's media freedom – The Guardian
BUDAPEST (Reuters) – A senior European Commission official has expressed concern for the independence of Index.hu, one of Hungary’s last major independent news websites and a leading critic of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.
“What you are doing, the values you are fighting for, media freedom and pluralism, are essential for democracy,” Vera Jourova, the commission’s Vice President for Values and Transparency, said in a message to Index published on its web site. “You can count on my support.”
Editor-in-chief Szabolcs Dull said last month that Index was at risk of losing its independence because of “external influence”.
He said Index wanted to remain free of government influence and undue pressure from businessmen and advisers with government ties.
Orban has extended his influence over many walks of life in Hungary during his decade-long rule.
Pro-government businessman Miklos Vaszily bought a major stake in a company with control of Index’s revenue stream in March, raising fears of interference with the web site to favour Orban.
Vaszily, who has not returned Reuters requests for comment, has denied he wants to muzzle Index, saying economic problems need to be fixed. But staff are on alert as Vaszily had previously turned their competitor, Origo.hu, into a government mouthpiece.
Jourova said Index’s business situation should not be used as a pretext to undermine its freedom.
“While readership and audiences have been record high, revenues have been heavily hit. Economic pressure should not turn into political pressure…I would like to express my solidarity with the staff of Index.”
Media freedom was a key issue when the EU warned Hungary in April to respect the bloc’s values as it fought against the coronavirus pandemic.
(Reporting by Marton Dunai; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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