Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Charges were dropped after police concluded there was no “threat to security,” York Regional Police say. /p>

Rebel News representative arrested while attempting to interview Chrystia Freeland

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David Menzies of Rebel News just before his arrest in Richmond Hill, as he asks the Minister of Finances Chrystia Freeland.

Radio-Canada

David Menzies of Rebel News was arrested Monday for allegedly assaulting a police officer while trying to ask Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland questions about the government's decision to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the list of designated terrorist entities.

Video of the incident posted online shows David Menzies briefly colliding with a police officer in Richmond Hill as he sought to question the minister about the IRGC during an event marking the downing of Flight PS752, a Ukrainian International Airlines plane that was shot down by the Iranian military in January 2020, killing dozens of Canadians.

In the video of the incident, we see that the police officer cut off David Menzies while he was holding a microphone in the parking lot of a small shopping center. The officer then grabbed the lapel of his jacket, pushed him against a wall and accused him of assault while he was arresting him.

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Mr Menzies is a provocative character who has had run-ins with the police and security services in the past.

David Menzies replied that he had not touched anyone, adding that it was a false accusation of assault. I didn't come here to cause trouble. I came here to do my job and now I'm handcuffed. This is your Canada now, friends. It's the Gestapo doing blackface orders, Menzies continued – an apparent reference to Prime Minister Trudeau, who also attended the event.

Menzies asked the officer for his name and badge number, but the answers to those questions – if they were given – are not audible on the recording.

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A York Regional Police spokesperson later identified the officer appearing in the video as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police protection team.

It was determined that there was no credible threat to security, and the subject was unconditionally released shortly thereafter, the spokesperson said. York Regional Police officers assisted as the interaction took place in our area, he added.

On the RCMP side, a spokesperson said that the federal police service is reviewing the incident and the actions of all parties involved and that no comment is available for the moment.

Minister Freeland, who has been the subject of threats and tense public confrontations in the past, is regularly monitored by police for her safety .

The Finance Minister ignored Mr Menzies' questions and said nothing during the arrest. p>

Mr. Menzies is a provocative figure who has had run-ins with the police and security services in the past, including an arrest by Mr. Trudeau's protective detail during a ;an event in Toronto in 2021.

He was also arrested during a meeting in 2021 with Melissa Lantsman, now vice-president of the Conservative Party, in Thornhill, Ontario. Ms. Lantsman, who is a lesbian, said her questions became homophobic and focused on her sexual orientation.

Mr. Menzies was also excluded from a 2019 campaign event for then-Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

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David Menzie at Andrew Scheer campaign event, 2019, Ontario

Rebel News widely distributed video of the most recent incident.

Chrystia Freeland's bodyguards attack and arrest David Menzies when he asks her a question, we can read on her website.

The police lied about the attack. They are the ones who attacked him, says the site in its post on the incident.

According to X's data, Parts of the video have been viewed by millions of social media users.

Reached by email Tuesday, Rebel News founder and owner Ezra Levant said he and Menzies were considering legal action against the police. We have not yet finalized our legal strategy, but at this point I expect that we will sue the RCMP and York Regional Police, as well as Chrystia Freeland, for unlawful arrest, unlawful imprisonment, malicious pursuit and assault, Ezra Levant told CBC News.

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Ezra Levant is the founder and owner of Rebel News. (File photo)

These government defendants will have unlimited public resources, while we receive no public funds. This is why we are going to finance David's litigation through a crowdfunding campaign.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre condemned the arrest by sharing a video of the incident with the following message: This is where press freedom stands. In Canada. In 2024. After eight years of Trudeau.

Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu, the party's civil liberties spokesperson, said in the media that she wanted the House of Commons Heritage Committee to be recalled from its winter break to study the issue and demand transparency and accountability regarding Mr Menzies' arrest.

With information from CBC News

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