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Edmonton police chief to discuss U of A encampment response Friday afternoon

The Edmonton Police Service is set to speak publicly about its response during the teardown of a protest camp at the University of Alberta.

EPS Chief Dale McFee and Deputy Chief Devin LaForce will speak at 1 p.m. CTV News Edmonton will livestream the event here.

Police cleared the camp in the early morning of May 11, with video and images posted to social media showing police using batons and “special munitions” against protesters.

Organizers and participants of the three-day protest have maintained it was a peaceful, safe demonstration aimed at pressuring the university to cease support for Israel and any other companies “complicit in occupation, apartheid and genocide” in Gaza.

The university said it had no choice but to have the camp cleared, claiming it posed a safety risk and violated campus protocols.

The clearing of the camp, and the police response during, sparked backlash from students, faculty and local politicians.

McFee spoke to the Edmonton Police Commission Thursday about the response, but did not address allegations of police brutality or images showing officers without visible name tags or identification.

While Premier Danielle Smith has expressed support for the clearing of the U of A camp, and a similar camp at the University of Calgary, she said her government would direct Alberta’s police watchdog to investigate alleged injuries caused by police during the clearing.

More to come …

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