OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) – Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) monitored the social media accounts of several Canadian and American journalists, going into media damage control after leaked WhatsApp group chats showing officers vulgarly mocking protesters went public.
As reported by Rebel News’ Sheila Gunn Reid, documents she was able to obtain indicate that the RCMP’s social media team screenshotted and monitored multiple journalists’ accounts while in damage control mode.
Some of the journalists whose social media accounts were monitored include Rebel News’s Ian Miles Cheong and Ezra Levant, True North News’s Andrew Lawton and Cosmin Dzsurdzsa, the Counter Signal’s Keean Bexte, and even Fox News’s Greg Re and Tucker Carlson. Also monitored were the National Post’s Rupa Subramanya and independent journalist Benny Johnson.
The reason for the RCMP surveillance of journalists’ social media came about after Rebel News on February 19 revealed multiple screenshots appearing to show RCMP police members of its Musical Ride team indicating glee about their crackdown of the Freedom Convoy.
One officer reportedly wrote, “Don’t kick all of them out until next weeks group gets our turn” and also “Time for the protesters to hear our jackboots on the ground.”
Another RCMP officer appeared to show pleasure because one protester, an elderly lady, got trampled by a horse.
“Just watched the horse video – that is awesome,” the officer said, adding, “we should practice that manoeuvre.”
After the leaked texts went public, the RCMP went into damage control mode and had to release an official statement confirming the authenticity of the chats.
The Rebel News documents indicated an RCMP in full crisis mode, with many on its social media teams exchanging multiple emails about the issue.
Wrote Gunn Reid, the RCMP “sought to identify and delete any promotional postings the agency had used featuring police officers involved in the internal leaked chats.”
Public backlash against the RCMP was strong after the leaked chats were made public.
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The Rebel News documents also show that RCMP top brass wanted to know who the whistleblower was who leaked the chats to the media.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act (EA) on February 14, claiming it was needed to deal with the Freedom Convoy protesters, who were demanding an end to all COVID mandates.
As a result, Ottawa police had assistance from multiple police forces in Canada, including the RCMP.
Trudeau revoked the EA on February 23 after protesters had been cleared out.
Recently, one of the news outlets whose journalists’ social media were monitored, True North, first reported that the RCMP billed taxpayers of whopping $234,995.79 for breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets at the Ottawa hotel the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.
As for Trudeau, on Monday he appointed a judge with known ties to the Liberal Party to oversee an inquiry into his government’s invocation of EA that was used to crush the trucker Freedom Convoy in February.
Civil liberties groups, including the CCLA, have called for an independent public inquiry into Trudeau’s use of the EA.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) is suing the federal government for its abuse of the EA, which was used to quash the Freedom Convoy.
Recently, the author of the EA itself warned that Trudeau’s use of it may have set a bad precedent.