'Huge waste of time': Calgary woman charged in BLM protest responds to charge
CALGARY -- Red Deer RCMP have charged a Calgary woman with assault with a weapon in connection with an incident at a Black Lives Matter protest last month but she says she is not guilty of the crime.
Authorities announced Friday that they had served a court summons to Taylor Michelle McNallie, 29, of Calgary.
According to RCMP, McNallie is charged with one count of assault with a weapon in connection with an incident that occurred during an anti-racism rally on Sept. 20 in the city of Red Deer.
Violence erupted during the event after a counter-protesting group arrived.
Footage taken of two incidents at the scene showed people pushing and assaulting one another before police arrived to break up the altercations.
Trevor Lyle Roy, of Penhold, Alta., was arrested in connection with the first incident while McNallie was identified as a suspect in the second.
MCNALLIE RESPONDS TO CHARGE
CTV News spoke with McNallie Friday evening and, while she confirmed the charge against her, she provided no further comment at the time.
However, a short time later, she posted a lengthy response on social media, saying she would be pleading not guilty and filing a complaint against Red Deer RCMP.
"This matter will take months in court and it's honestly a huge waste of time and tax dollars," she wrote. "These groups stalked our events online and showed up to anti-racism community discussion(s) throwing fists. Then RCMP allowed them to stay in the park with us for an hour or two before our team cleared the area safely."
She adds the assault charge comes from an incident involving a member of those groups, a man by the name of Chris Harrod.
"Let me be very clear that this 'assault with a weapon' was a camera thrown at Chris' arm, leading to one of the best soccer dives of all time – we've all seen the video."
McNallie was present at an Idle No More rally in Calgary on Saturday but did not speak with CTV News at the event.
Other activists, who were also present at the demonstration at Reconciliation Bridge, say they'll support her fight against the charges.
"With these (counter-protester) groups making their presence known, it also is a reason why we need these discussions," Red Deer Against Racism founder Cheryl Baptiste said. "(The violence) was horrifying. There was no excuse for it to happen."
Baptiste claims what happened was planned in advance.
"We were getting threatened beforehand, but it just grew exponentially into something bigger," she said.
UNLAWFUL BEHAVIOUR NOT TOLERATED
Red Deer RCMP remind all Albertans that while they are allowed to protest peacefully, unlawful behaviour will not be tolerated.
"The role of police is to ensure those who unlawfully interfere with or threaten the safety of any person or property will be held accountable in accordance with the laws of Canada."
As the matter is before the courts, police will not be releasing any further details.
McNallie is expected in court Nov. 10.
Her full statement on social media, from her @TaylorMadeYYC Twitter account, is below. A portion of her statement has been blocked due to profanity.