Release of review into Hamilton Pride 2019 pushed back due to COVID-19


The release date for the independent review into police actions surrounding Hamilton Pride 2019 has been pushed back amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday (April 7) the Hamilton Police Services Board announced that they'd voted electronically to accept the recommendation put forth by Scott Bergman, the lawyer heading up the review.

"In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and provincially mandated restrictions on group gatherings, it appears that a public release of the report on April 30, 2020, is not going to be feasible," Bergman writes in a letter dated April. 1.

Bergman suggests that the final report be released June 1, 2020, but says that date may be subject to change if gatherings are still prohibited.

"Hopefully we will be able to hold public gatherings by June 1, 2020, but in the event that this is
still not possible, the release date for the final report may have to be further reconsidered to ensure that members of the public who wish to attend for the release are able to do so safely and in person," he said.

Bergman was appointed to the review back in November 2019 after months of public calls for a review into the events of June 15, 2019, at Gage Park.

Hamilton Police and the City have been under fire since the violent clash at Pride that saw tensions between event attendees and protestors boil over.

Police have been accused of deliberately delaying their response when the call came in. They’ve also faced backlash over some of the arrests made and charges laid in the aftermath.

When Bergman was appointed, he made a point of saying that it wasn't his responsibility in this process to "assign blame."

He said the review would be looking to access what happened this summer and find ways it could have been handled better and how to move forward to “promote healing and restore the relationship between police” and the community.

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