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Task force concludes investigation into September clash in northeast Calgary

A Calgary Police Service (CPS) task force looking into a violent incident that involved clashing ethnic political groups on Sept. 2 in northeast Calgary has concluded its investigation.

The results of the investigation led CPS to charge 50-year-old, Rusom Tesfamikael Tes, of Calgary, with rioting and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

In total, 28 people are facing 63 charges including rioting, assault with a weapon and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

“Over the course of four and a half months, our members have worked relentlessly to identify individuals involved in one of Calgary’s largest violent incidents. We have not lost sight of our goal – holding involved individuals accountable,” said Calgary Police Service Chief Mark Neufeld.

Police said more charges may be laid if additional evidence arises.

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Click to play video: 'Calgary police looking for ‘persons of interest’ in violent Eritrean community clash'

Calgary police looking for ‘persons of interest’ in violent Eritrean community clash

“At the end of the day we formed a task force in the immediate aftermath of this and so anywhere up from eight to 14 investigators worked on this at different times. They identified 50 people who we wanted to speak to who are subjects of interest,” Neufeld said, appearing on Global Morning News Calgary Thursday. “We’ve identified and interviewed 39 of those and have them in our custody.

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As far as I know we are the only Canadian police agency to have charged on this scale for this type of event and also to lay charges around rioting.”

On Sept. 2, emergency crews were called to a shopping area near the corner of McKnight Boulevard and Falconridge Boulevard Northeast after a violent clash broke out involving up to 150 people as two concurrent events were being hosted by members of the Calgary’s Eritrean community.

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“It was something that was not going to be tolerated in our city. We had about $150,000 in property damage done, and I believe there was 12 or 14 people that were sent to hospital with varying injuries from quite serious to bumps and bruises,” Neufeld added.

It’s believed the incident stemmed from growing anger and opposition among some sections of the Eritrean diaspora over the government of Eritrea and the situation in the northeast African country.

Click to play video: 'Calgary police chief updates ongoing investigation into Eritrean group clash'

Calgary police chief updates ongoing investigation into Eritrean group clash

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