Global News reporter harassed at COVID-19 protest

Protesters harassed Global News consumer affairs and investigative reporter Seán O’Shea while he was covering an April 16, 2021 demonstration at Huf Gym, a Mississauga business that had been frequently fined for violating COVID-19 safety protocols.

In a video O’Shea posted on Twitter, an unmasked protester can be seen walking up to O’Shea aggressively and muttering incomprehensibly. O’Shea can be heard repeating, “Get away from me.”

When O’Shea subsequently asked a uniformed Peel regional police sergeant standing nearby if he condoned this behaviour, the officer said to O’Shea that he was “agitating” the protesters. 

Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said he learned of the event when the demonstrators’ confrontation with the journalist was posted on social media, as was subsequent video of the sergeant hugging the protesters.

“I immediately directed that the sergeant be suspended and commenced an internal affairs investigation,” the chief said in the statement. “Peel Regional Police are committed to ensuring the safety of our members and the public. Our officers will enforce municipal and provincial regulations as required.”

Sgt. Paul Brown was reinstated by the following week.