Ottawa Police Chief resigns amid Freedom Convoy pressure – media

Peter Sloly has been under fire over the force’s apparent inability to dislodge trucker-led protests

Ottawa Police chief Peter Sloly has resigned amid criticism of the force’s handling of the ongoing Freedom Convoy trucker-led protest against federal Covid-19 vaccination mandates in the Canadian capital, local media said on Tuesday. He is expected to formally announce his resignation following a police board meeting on Tuesday, CBC news reported.

Ottawa City Councillor Riley Brockington tweeted about the surprise resignation, which comes a week after Sloly said he had no plans to step down despite mounting pressure from both the federal and local governments to evict the protesters. According to CTV news, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson had given Sloly a vote of confidence on Monday, agreeing with the chief’s request for more resources from the provincial and federal governments.

The outlet reported that the city’s residents have grown increasingly angry with the police response to the protests, which have dominated the downtown area of the capital.

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Over the past week, Sloly has repeatedly asked for reinforcements, requesting an additional 1,800 police personnel to end the protest, CTV news reported. It added that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not “accept the contention that the city of Ottawa has exhausted its tools and resources.” The force’s inability to dislodge protesters is thought to have contributed to the Trudeau government’s approval of invoking emergency powers on Monday.

Meanwhile, multiple unnamed sources told CBC that relations were strained between Sloly and senior members of the force, as well as officers from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) deployed to bolster local law enforcement during the crisiis.

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In recent weeks, at least three incident response commanders were reassigned after working with him, the public broadcaster reported. One of these commanders told CBC that Sloly had no rationale for his decisions, adding that the apparent failings would “all come out in a review.”

Neither Sloly nor the Ottawa Police have responded to allegations leveled against the chief, but the force issued a statement to CBC on Monday about how the “unprecedented situation” has been “well beyond the experience of any municipal policing body in Canada” and “has put tremendous strain on all our officers."

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