Rally planned for outside Alberta legislature to call for improved de-escalation training for police

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Footage of the arrest shows an officer talking to an agitating Allan. A second officer runs towards the chief from off screen and slams Allan to the ground. His truck was in the parking lot of a casino when police noticed his license plate was expired.

Allan was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer. Those charges were dropped after video of the arrest was made public.

“I don’t feel like there’s any training being provided on de-escalation,” said Rabbit. “The City of Edmonton, they put that $10 million into community programs. Maybe they can do something with de-escalation for city police.”

Rabbit was speaking about a recent decision by city council to move $10-million away from EPS budgets.

The rally will also be collecting donations for the Pekiwewin camp in Edmonton. Rabbit said they are looking for tangible donations such as food, toiletries and sanitizer.

Victoria Guzman, an organizer of the camp who uses they and them pronouns, previously told Postmedia that Pekiwewin offers a safe place for homeless people to rest during the day and to sleep at night without fearing being forcibly removed by police. It started in response to the city shuttering the temporary 180-bed shelter at the Kinsmen Sport Centre last month, and the closure of the Expo Centre day drop-in space, which supported more than 700 people, in early August.

Camp organizers have sent a list of demands to the city. Those demands include divesting $39 million from policing, free transit and the creation of an emergency response fund for front-line workers to support those experiencing homelessness.

The camp has grown to host over 130 tents.

Rabbit said Friday’s rally will be attended by frontline health-care workers who are donating their time to help ensure everyone who attends the rally is safe. Everyone in attendance will be asked to follow physical distancing guidelines.

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