DELTA – A Delta police officer says he was spit on and had garbage tossed on him by protesters while standing on a police line on Burnaby Mountain enforcing a Supreme Court injunction.
The 2,500-word blog entitled My 4 days as a "jackbooted nazi stormtrooping corporate thug," was posted Nov. 26 on the Delta Police website by Const. Jim Ingram. In it he describes the four days he spent keeping protesters from interfering with a Kinder Morgan survey drilling team in preparation for a controversial bitumen pipeline.
Ingram is a member of the Lower Mainland District Integrated Tactical Troop, which is responsible for disaster response assistance, scene security and search, counter terrorism and, in this instance, public order or also known as crowd control and management.
In one paragraph, he describes being spit on by a protester, adding it was "not the highlight of my week.
"If it was any other person, technically it’s considered an assault," said Ingram in a telephone interview.
"So it’s something we’re definitely careful of but we have to balance going out and trying to arrest somebody for something like that versus holding a line and the bigger picture there."
The bigger picture included upholding a Supreme Court ruling allowing Kinder Morgan to take part in work defined by GPS coordinates. No members of the public are allowed to interfere directly with their work.
Ingram said he can understand the motivations of the protesters, but pushing and spitting is going too far.
"The reality is we’re human too and it’s a frustration that we have to control," he said. "I don’t like having garbage thrown over me, I don’t like somebody spitting at me. To some
degree I have to protect myself."
In his blog post, Ingram also criticizes the media for publicizing an incident where an 11-year-old crossed a police line (who was not arrested) but not the aggressive actions toward the police by some of the protesters.
Ingram said he doesn’t expect there to be a pro-police take on things, but felt that by posting his side of the story on the Delta Police website it would give some balance to the story.
"I posted my side, a lot of protesters have written their sides of things. I’d just like to see the whole thing covered."
Aside from the negative experiences, Ingram said it was great to work with police officers from different jurisdictions and specialty sections from the integrated police unit.
"It’s great to get a perspective and it’s great to network with people from all different sections around the Lower Mainland," he said.
Ingram posts regularly on his 24×7 blog at deltapolice.ca. He’s also active on Twitter at @cst_jingram.