The Safe Surrey Coalition continues its Twitter onslaught against the RCMP, which the city intends to replace with its own Surrey Police Department, in the wake of a controversy concerning its since-deleted post accusing the RCMP of murder.
That post 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. In response Mayor McCallum told the Now-Leader that he didn’t agree with the post, said it won’t ever happen again, and claimed it “was sent out by an unauthorized person.”
“We’ve corrected that and it won’t happen again,” McCallum told the Now-Leader at the time. “I have, and certainly Safe Surrey Coalition, have tremendous respect for the RCMP.”
Asked Wednesday if the RCMP will sue over that now-deleted tweet, or subsequent tweets, Staff Sergeant Janelle Shoihet of RCMP “E” Division communications replied “the matter was dealt with personally by the Commanding Officer herself and we are satisfied that the matter is resolved.”
The SSC twitter account has since, since that infamous tweet, posted a cherry-picked assortment of media reports concerning lost faith in RCMP (June 13), everyone being scared of the RCMP (June 14), a senator calling for the RCMP commissioner to resign or be fired (June 15), the RCMP seeing itself as unaccountable (June 18), the RCMP’s culture and core values being racist (June 22), and an RCMP officer dragging a student (June 23).
Surrey Councillor Jack Hundial, a former Mountie and member of the rival Surrey Connect slate, went on the offensive June 23, demanding in a tweet that the SSC “stop the attacks” on the RCMP.
Stop the attacks on our @surreyrcmp. Was this posted, again, from an unauthorized person or "yes I authorized" or "I can’t control it?"@BCRCMP @UBCM @BCNDPCaucus @BCLiberalCaucus @mikefarnworthbc @Dave_Eby @Wilkinson4BC @SurreyNowLeader @sry604 @brendalockebc https://t.co/Es36P7TYUQ
— Jack Hundial (@JackHundial) June 23, 2020
Councillor Doug Elford, of the Safe Surrey Coalition, told the Now-Leader following the May 29 “murder” tweet that he asked that that particular post be taken down, that “We’re working towards not having that happen again,” and that “Twitter is a sewer.”
Asked Wednesday if he is concerned about subsequent tweets from his slate’s account that are designed to cast the RCMP in a poor light, Elford replied, “Not at this point in time.
“As far as I’m concerned, we’re going to be getting our own police force very shortly and we’re going to be beyond all this,” he said. “I’m very hopeful that it will be very, very soon and we’ll get past all this stuff, the tweets and everything else, and the back-and-forth. Because, to me, at this point in time, you know, we’ve got to move ahead. We’re almost there and once we are, we’re moving ahead with a new force and there will be lots of other things to talk about.”
Meantime, Hundial questions if the same “unauthorized person” whom McCallum claimed had posted that now-infamous “murder” tweet on May 29 is also responsible for subsequent tweets also casting the RCMP in a poor light.
“Did he approve it, or he has just lost control?” Hundial said of the mayor.
The Now-Leader has sought comment Wednesday from McCallum on who authorized these latest tweets, but he has not yet replied.