The Victoria Police Department says four assault victims have been identified in BC Legislature rally assault allegations. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Four people claim they were assaulted during B.C. Legislature pipeline protest: police

Statement comes after Coun. Ben Isitt calls investigation ‘fake news’

The Victoria Police Department says it has identified four assault victims from a rally at the BC Legislature on Tuesday.

In a statement released Wednesday, VicPD says it is still looking for additional victims and witnesses after receiving reports people were assaulted and injured outside the government building.

READ ALSO: VicPD investigating assault allegations from BC Legislature rally

The police department says four people reported assaults – three of which received non-life-threatening injuries and a fourth who says they were not physically injured but equipment they were carrying was “reported to have been damaged.”

Hundreds had gathered outside the provincial building Tuesday morning in solidarity with We’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and supporters in opposition of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. The rally was planned to disrupt the speech from the throne. The group blocked some MLAs and members of the press from entering the building, yelling “shame” as they tried to enter.

Ceremonial proceedings were cancelled but the throne speech went ahead. A group of people occupied the front steps of the BC Legislature for just over six days but left their post Tuesday night.

City of Victoria Coun. Ben Isitt has been vocal about the local police department’s call for witnesses, which was first released Tuesday evening. In a Tweet, Isitt said the police investigation into reports of violence is “fake news.”

His post received backlash from many, including VicPD Chief Del Manak, who called the councillor’s comments “off-base and disrespectful.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the VicPD non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.

READ ALSO: Victoria councillor calls VicPD allegations of assault at downtown protest ‘fake news’

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