Okanagan security guards experiencing 'extreme' levels of harassment during pandemic | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Okanagan security guards experiencing 'extreme' levels of harassment during pandemic

Protesters outside of the Trinity Church, July 13, 2021.
July 18, 2021 - 7:00 AM

During the last two years, Okanagan security guards have been facing an “extreme” level of conflicts, says a Paladin Security manager.

Earlier this week, a video published by iNFOnews was shared internationally when an anti-vaccination protester unleashed a racist tirade against a security guard at the Trinity Church COVID-19 vaccination site in Kelowna, July 13. The Kelowna RCMP are now investigating the incident to see if it's considered to be a hate crime.

READ MORE: Kelowna security guard who handled tirade of racist remarks gains positive attention worldwide

In general, incidents like these happen frequently but not to this level. Security guards, nurses, doctors are “under attack by these people,” said Jason Davis, South Okanagan branch manager with Paladin Security.

“With COVID-19, it’s extreme and we are perceived as the evil people supporting the public safety measures,” he said. “The video captured a few minutes of what was six hours of relentless attacks on nurses and patients and the public, anyone that was entering the Trinity Church COVID-19 vaccination site.”

Davis has only seen that level of aggression three times in his 30-year career and each time it has been from an anti-COIVD-19 vaccination or group against public health measures.

Since the video’s publication, there’s been an unbelievable amount of support from the public, he said, both online and in person including some who have even dropped off cookies for Anmol Singh, the security guard who dealt with the verbal tirade.

“Again, those incidents aren’t uncommon, we see them frequently but the length and the duration, that is something is something that is new to COVID,” Davis said.

In particular, there are a few individuals that have been “relentless and ruthless,” he said. "I am glad police are pursuing hate crimes and I hope it sets a precedent."

Davis said he was proud of how Singh and his team handled the protesters that day.

“He’s working two jobs, he’s just a hard working man who knows where he wants to be,” Davis said.

Singh hopes to work in law enforcement.

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