NEWS
03/22/2016 15:21 EDT | Updated 03/23/2017 01:12 EDT

B.C. police watchdog dismisses Vancouver anti-fur protester's complaint

VANCOUVER — British Columbia's police watchdog has dismissed a complaint from an anti-fur activist who claimed Vancouver Police violated his rights by banning him from visiting a store where he regularly protests.

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner says it is satisfied that officers' behaviour would not constitute misconduct, noting that police are given considerable discretion to conduct investigations as they see fit.

Taylor Freeman had said a warning letter from police infringed on his charter right to protest and unfairly restricted his travel through downtown Vancouver.

He received the letter in November advising that if he had any contact with an employee at Snowflake Furs in the city's downtown core he would be arrested for criminal harassment.

The commissioner's office noted in a letter to Freeman that the issue involves a clash of rights: the right to protest versus the right to feel safe.

The office says a police report revealed a number of documented calls for service outlining Freeman's behaviour that caused a female employee discomfort, sickness and fear.

The Canadian Press