Investigation ongoing after Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II statues toppled at Manitoba Legislature
The Winnipeg Police Service said the investigation into two statues that were vandalized following a march against residential schools Thursday afternoon is ongoing.
It happened after demonstrators were at the Manitoba Legislature as part of events honouring the children who died at residential schools.
During this event, a Queen Victoria statue was toppled and covered in red paint. Another statue, one of Queen Elizabeth II, was also toppled.
The head of the Queen Victoria statue was also removed. It was retrieved Friday from the river behind the legislature by a man who happened to come by in a kayak. A worker then carted it away in a golf-cart-sized vehicle.
The chief said at this time, no one has been arrested for the incidents that happened, but he noted there are several cameras on the legislative grounds and police are investigating the situation.
During the news conference, Smyth was asked why police didn't intervene and try to prevent the situation.
"We did not want to further incite the crowd that had gathered. I want to make it clear, I commend our members for our professionalism yesterday and their ability to preserve a safe environment," said Smyth.
He added that some of the officers who were at the scene were also assaulted during that time, saying some were spit on and police vehicles were damaged with rocks and paint.
"This was a delicate situation to balance."
He said it was a small group of people who were involved in destroying the statues and said he heard from Indigenous leaders who said they do not condone the events that happened.
ONE ARRESTED ON LEGISLATURE GROUNDS, NOT BELIEVED TO BE RELATED TO STATUE VANDALISM
One person was arrested on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building on Thursday.
According to the Winnipeg Police Service, Manitoba government security took the person into custody on the suspicion they were damaging vehicles on the legislative grounds.
The person was turned over to Winnipeg police and arrested.
Police Chief Danny Smyth said in a news conference Friday, the person, a 51-year-old man, has since been released from custody and he is expected to be charged with mischief and assault of a peace officer.
Smyth added this arrest happened after the two statues on the legislative grounds were toppled and it isn't believed he was part of taking down the statues.
Police continue to investigate.
-With files from The Canadian Press