Blue Line

Police investigate after protesters leave coffin outside Hamilton mayor’s home

December 2, 2020  By Denise Paglinawan

(CP) Police in Hamilton say they are investigating after a protest group left a coffin outside the home of the city’s mayor on Monday night.

The force says the coffin, which was filled with flowers and naloxone kits, was placed outside Mayor Fred Eisenberger’s residence by members of the Defund Hamilton Police group.

Group members say the coffin was meant to draw attention to homelessness and overdoses in the city.

“So many people die on the street due to the inaction by the City of Hamilton and by the mayor,” member Sabriena Dahab said Tuesday.

The group has been calling for police funds to be redirected to deal with what they say is a housing crisis in the city.

Dahab said the coffin was placed outside the mayor’s home after he refused to have a public meeting on the matter.

The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Since January, paramedics have responded to 487 incidents related to suspected opioid overdoses in Hamilton, city data indicates.

Another group member said the coffin incident was also a response to police’s removal and disposal of fellow protester’s tents outside city hall.

“Many people lost their belongings,” said member Koubra Haggar.

The encampment had been set up last week as part of the group’s effort to push for police funds to be reallocated.

Last week, Hamilton police said they charged the group’s organizer with failure to comply with provincial limits on outdoor gatherings.

There were between 80 to 100 people outside city hall that day, police said.


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