Mob mentality and attacks on police are on the rise in Edmonton, and Police Chief Mike Boyd won’t stand for it.
“I’m putting everybody on notice,” Boyd declared yesterday at Police Headquarters. “This city is not tolerating mugging and swarming mentality against our police officers and any citizen in this city.”
Over the weekend, two downtown beat cops were beaten down by a group of a dozen bar-hoppers behind a nightclub on Jasper Avenue. After the officers had been dispatched to control the drunk and hostile crowd, one officer was slammed to the ground and kicked repeatedly in the chest.
The officers used pepper spray, batons and attempted to Taser one of the suspects, but were unsuccessful.
Three males, one of whom required medical attention for a gash on his head, were charged in connection with the incident.
“Our police officers are not punching bags,” Boyd said. “Neither are any of our citizens that are being attacked out there, suffering the same kind of brutal assault by thugs.”
Minutes before the scheduled press conference yesterday afternoon, a Student Resource Officer from Eastglen high school was attacked while trying to put a stop to reckless driving in a parking lot. Two male suspects have been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.
Boyd called the instances of violence “attacks on society,” adding that community standards of acceptability are on a decline in Edmonton and across Canada.
“The full force of the law will be brought to bear on this problem. We are going to clean it up. This is our city and we’re not going to allow people to destroy a good thing.”
Boyd said that there are six more beat officers being added to the downtown area within the next few weeks, and that the service is actively seeking additional cops to combat these problems as downtown nightclubs become more popular.
The chief said he’s not trying to spoil fun and shut down any bars, he just wants fewer problems without having to resort to a highly increased police presence.
“This is not the city that we want, I’m certain of it.”