Canadian police officers placed on leave for support of Coutts border crossing truck blockade

Both officers spoke at US border blockade in Alberta after one posted viral video

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Wednesday 16 February 2022 17:57
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Related: Sean Hannity calls Canada truckers ‘heroes of the pandemic’

Two police officers in Alberta, have been placed on administrative leave for making public statements praising the “freedom convoys”.

The pair also travelled to the protest that was blocking access to the border crossing to the US at Coutts, Alberta, CTV reports.

Constable Elena Golysheva of the Edmonton Police Service posted a three-minute speech she made while wearing her uniform which has since been viewed thousands of times on social media.

She said that she had moved to Canada “to be free” and her “heart has been broken every day” as she claims that freedom has been taken away.

She thanked truckers and farmers for “standing up [for] the police officers when we could not stand up for you”.

Ms Golysheva said she will not follow “unlawful orders” claiming she is for “freedom of choice” as her justification.

“I’ve always been reminded by my supervisors, ‘Please question unsafe orders. Ask us questions if you think the orders are unlawful’. And that’s what I think our job is. Thank you truckers for standing up for all of us,” she said.

Ms Golysheva also attended a protest in the south of the province on Saturday and addressed the crowd there, footage of which was also posted to Facebook.

Another member of the Edmonton Police Service, Staff Sergeant Rick Abbott, also spoke to the crowd and introduced Ms Golysheva.

Mr Abbott identified himself as a police officer, and said: “We’re on a little bit of thin ice, up here doing this, but so are you out there.”

He added: “Elena is probably going to get in a little bit of trouble for a little bit of video that she did. But I think everyone across the nation knows that the risk that she took was well worth the effort.”

When Ms Golysheva spoke, she said: “I’m here because you have given me so much strength,” adding that she was not there representing the Edmonston Police Service.

While the video has attracted a lot of attention from supporters of the trucker convoy protest, it has also angered others who say that she should be fired.

A spokesperson told CTV that the video has been reviewed and the officers have been “placed on administrative leave” while the service’s professional standards branch investigates the incident.

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