Police help journalists trapped by angry mob of protesters at Surrey border

Feb 20 2022, 1:02 am

There was a disturbing incident at a “Freedom Convoy” demonstration in Surrey, BC on Saturday.

Angry protesters crowded around a Global BC journalist and their camera operator. 

Reporter Kamil Karamali documented it on Twitter, showing people following them, swearing at them, and threatening them as they struggled to get out of the mass of people.

The crowd booed them as they were escorted to their vehicle by police. One protestor gets close to the camera to say, “Shame on you, you disgusting, filthy human being” repeatedly.

“It only gets worse. The crowd closes in on our unmarked Global News vehicle,” Karamali writes in the thread.

“Tough to drive out. We’re caught between an angry crowd and a ditch.”

Further in the thread, Karamali says protesters surrounded the vehicle and started banging on the windows.

“One man spits at our window. Police have to push crowd back so we can try and get out. We finally do,” he wrote.

Surrey RCMP have weighed in after a number of incidents involving members of the media on Saturday.

In a release, they say they are aware of several incidents and will be following up with reporters and camera people involved to gather their full accounts, including the collection of any video evidence.

“These kinds of acts of aggression and intimidation towards media, or any member of the public, are simply unacceptable,” says Sergeant Elenore Sturko. “While it is not always safe for our officers to take immediate enforcement action at the time of the alleged offences based on the size of the crowd of protesters, these incidents will be fully investigated and could lead to subsequent arrests or charges.”

Meantime, Constable Paul Walker with the Abbotsford Police Department weighed in on the situation on Twitter, condemning how Karamali was treated.

“This is completely unacceptable behavior towards the media. I have personally worked closely on many stories with Kamil Karamali and Global BC and have been impressed with their reporting,” he wrote.

“No one should be treated this way no matter what.”

This followed a similar incident earlier in the day, when a CBC crew was overwhelmed with protestors invading their space and hurling insults.

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