Anonymous said in a video message that they are willing to use “vengeance if necessary” to obtain justice for the shooting of one of their own outside the Fixx restaurant in Dawson Creek, northeastern British Columbia, on Thursday.
The statement described the masked man as being “mercilessly shot and killed … without provocation or cause” while protesting. According to the hacktivists, the man was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, which is often associated with the group.
Anonymous launched operation #AnonDown in their video statement. Its goal is to uncover the name of the police officer who killed the Dawson Creek activist – “because the world has the right to know every detail about killer cops.”
“This RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] officer must be named, fired and charged for the murder of our brother. If we do not receive justice, rest assured there will be revenge. We call upon our fellow Anons in Canada to take to the streets and protest at the RCMP headquarters … until our demands for justice are met … We call upon the global collective of Anonymous to remove the RCMP cyber infrastructure from the Internet.”
Ohai @rcmpgrcpolice we would like to report a murder of one of our comrades by some of your officers. Shall we expect justice or cover up?— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) July 18, 2015
The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of British Columbia confirmed that the man was, in fact, wearing a mask, but stopped short of identifying what kind. There are allegations the police’s failure to describe the mask is deliberate, as social media reports linking the man to Anonymous are multiplying by the minute.
Investigators have since revealed that the officers were not sure exactly who the man was when they arrived, as he “never did come into contact with police.” Police insist the shots were fired because the man was armed with a knife.
The fatal incident took place as an open house concerning the construction of a controversial $8.8-billion Site C dam was being held at a restaurant. Police arrived at the scene after receiving a call about a minor disturbance and property damage there. A man had reportedly been flipping tables and torn down a stand about the dam.
It took police some time to realize they had, in fact, stumbled upon a different man, whom they wrongly took for the suspect.
Kellie Kilpatrick, Executive Director Public Accountability at IIO, has revealed that “the gentleman causing the disturbance left the event” without encountering the police.
Anonymous has claimed the victim was the fourth member of the group to be killed by security forces around the world.
“If Canadian police was as brave as Canadian nurses, they could deal with people with knives without hiding behind bullets. Anonymous will not stand idly by while our own are cut down. We will most certainly avenge one of our own when they are cut down in the streets, protesting the earth-wrecking environmental policies of the Canadian government,” the group said.
The revenge plot seems to be well underway, as on Sunday morning the RCMP national website and Dawson Creek detachment site were both down. Moreover, a Twitter post from Anonymous showed the servers for the sites were down as well.
Actually it was a pre-announced First Nation protest. The Anon was part of a First Nation Anonymous cell. RCMP knew this. | @AnonPress— Operation Anon Down (@OpAnonDown) July 19, 2015
Anonymous also offered help with the burial arrangements for the man, whose identity remains unconfirmed. “We will offer support and raise funds if necessary to cover the burial expenses of our fallen comrade. He will be buried with the honor and dignity that his courage has earned him. We will ensure that he is never forgotten,” the statement said.
The group later claimed in a tweet that the fatally shot man “was part of a First Nation Anonymous cell. RCMP knew this.”
A coroner service spokeswoman, Barb McLintock, told the Vancouver Sun that the name of the victim could be released no sooner than Monday.
According to witnesses, Dawson Creek RCMP was responding to a report of a man creating a disturbance and damaging property at the Site C open house at around 6:30 pm on Thursday.
Upon arrival, the officers approached a masked man whom they took for the offender.
A witness video posted online shows two officers with handguns pointing at a body. A man is lying on the ground in a gray hoodie.
“The cops just ... shot this guy,” says the man recording the cellphone video. “He’s ... dead. There’s blood everywhere.”
One officer is seen kicking something aside from the man, who slightly moves and then lies still on the ground, as the blood begins to flow from his body.
A knife was recovered at the scene, according to IIO, which could be the object the police officer was seen kicking aside.
The investigators have attempted to explain the confusion, claiming the RCMP was at first sure it was the same man they had received the complaint about.
“We verified, verified, verified. At two o’clock I was told the same guy, at three o’clock I was told the same guy, then I land in Dawson Creek and I’m told ‘different guy,’” Kilpatrick said at a media conference Friday.