Winnipeg police headquarters vandalized following arrest of protester

The Winnipeg Police Service’s headquarters in downtown Winnipeg was vandalized late Tuesday evening.

Images from the scene on Wednesday show the outside of the building painted with red graffiti, which says things like, ‘This blood is on WPS hands,’ as well as ‘Time to dig pig,’ and ‘Just dig pig.’ There were also red handprints all over the exterior of the headquarters.

Officers blocked off the area with police tape and were investigating the vandalism.

Police said everything unfolded after a man was arrested in connection to two incidents that happened at the Brady Landfill.

The first incident was back on April 6, a man was protesting at the landfill, when police said he confronted a security guard, threatened him and made comments about access to firearms. Police said the security guard was fearful but left unharmed.

An officer investigates the graffiti.

Then on July 23, the same individual was again protesting at the landfill when he confronted a different security guard who was in a work truck.

Police said the man jumped on the hood of the truck, uttered threats and rocks were thrown at the truck, damaging it. This security guard was also able to leave physically unharmed.

On Tuesday, police arrested Tre Delaronde, 27, near Israel Asper Way and Provencher Boulevard.

Delaronde has been charged with two counts of uttering threats to cause bodily harm or death, possessing body armour without a permit and mischief under $5,000.

He was released on an undertaking.

However, before being released, police said around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a group of protesters went to police headquarters and chanted for Delaronde to be released.

Police said red paint was used to write derogatory phrases and smear red hand prints.

After around two hours, the protesters left and no one was hurt. Police noted officers respect the right to an assembly, but said it should be done peacefully and respectfully.

“Violence and property damage will not be tolerated and can lead to criminal charges,” police said in a news release.

The investigation has been taken over by the major crimes unit.

The outside of the building was painted with red graffiti, saying things like, ‘Time to dig pig.’

MESSAGE FROM CHIEF OF POLICE

In a message written by Chief Danny Smyth, he said this is the third time protesters have “swarmed public or private property.”

“Two of these incidents were directed at the WPS Headquarters. All these incidents were incited by individuals on social media. All these incidents were handled professionally and with restraint by well-trained police officers,” Smyth said in the message.

Smyth titled the message ‘A Call for Calm and Respect’ and said Delaronde has been constantly involved with the protests and his actions at protests sites and online has been, “aggressive, and at times militant.”

“Police liaison officers have engaged with him multiple times, and he has been cautioned on several occasions. He continued to push boundaries – investigators, in consultation with the Crown, were authorized to arrest and charge him criminally.”

Smyth said he is calling for calm and respectful behaviour, noting police are doing their best to balance the right to protest peacefully.

Police tape blocks off the area that was vandalized.

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