Vancouver police say an officer was injured after clashes with protesters outside a restaurant in the city’s Chinatown where the prime minister was dining Tuesday night.
Vancouver Police Department (VPD) Sgt. Steve Addison said in a statement that 100 officers were deployed around 10 p.m. Pacific Time “after protesters surrounded a restaurant.”
He said Justin Trudeau was inside the restaurant at the time and that officers helped control the crowd so the prime minister could be escorted outside.
Addison said police estimated there were 250 protesters at the restaurant, who he did not name. He said the establishment was on Main Street, near Keefer Street.
Vancouver police will hold a news conference about the incident at 11:30 a.m. PT, which Breaking: will broadcast live.
Videos posted online They appear to show Trudeau leaving a different restaurant on Tuesday after protesters entered the premises and called for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas.
2 men arrested
At the Chinatown protest, Addison said an officer was injured and taken to the hospital for treatment after being punched in the face and having his eyes gouged out.
Police said they arrested a 27-year-old man from Coquitlam, BC, in connection with the assault. Officers also arrested a 34-year-old Vancouver man for obstructing police. He was subsequently released.
Addison did not say what the Chinatown protest was about. Police recommended charges against the 27-year-old be filed with the British Columbia Prosecutor’s Office, he said.
“When protests occur, our primary role is to maintain order, facilitate a peaceful environment for people to express themselves, and respond to illegal behavior if it occurs,” he said.
VPD recognized posts that appeared online around 9pm which appear to show the Prime Minister dining at Vij’s, a well-known Indian restaurant on Cambie Street, before protesters approach him and ask him to demand a ceasefire in the Middle East.
Addison said that incident preceded the Chinatown protest and did not require a significant police response.
The videos appear to show Trudeau leaving the restaurant surrounded by his security team while talking to other diners and the restaurant’s owner, Vikram Vij, who is also a television personality.
A statement from the prime minister’s official confirmed that protesters approached Trudeau in Vancouver, but did not provide further details.
“With respect to any specific interaction, our office does not comment on the prime minister’s security details or processes,” he said.