A few RCMP websites went down on Sunday, with online hacktivist group Anonymous claiming it was of their doing.
Anonymous said the incident was a way to raise awareness on a police shooting that took place on Friday.
Police shot a man in Dawson Creek on July 17 outside a public hearing that was being held for the Site C hydroelectric project. RCMP Dawson Creek said that the man, who was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and carrying a knife, was creating a disturbance and had refused to put down his knife.
Kellie Kilpatrick of the IIO said that the man came into contact with police in an aggressive manner and was shot. A video taken by a witness captures the aftermath of the shooting and shows the officer standing put as the man on the ground continued to wield his knife. The two officers keep their guns pointed at the injured man until one officer approaches him and puts on handcuffs.
Kilpatrick said the man was transported to a hospital, however he did not survive his injuries. B.C. Coroners Service later identified the man as 48-year-old James Daniel McIntyre. Contrary to early reports, Kilpatrick said that McIntyre was not the same man involved in a disturbance inside.
In a press release, Anonymous stated that the man killed was a member of their group. Anonymous claimed it would seek justice (and vengeance if necessary) for the killing of their brother ‘Anon’.
RCMP websites affected by the hack include their national site and the local Dawson Creek site.
The online group demanded that the RCMP release the name of the officer involved in the shooting, and said that upon refusal, they will name the officer themselves.
“This RCMP officer must be named, fired, and charged – for the murder of our brother Anon. And if we do not receive justice, rest assured there will be revenge,” read the release.
The group said it will also raise funds for the burial of McIntyre.
Anonymous said this is the fourth member of their group to be killed by security forces, including incidents in Turkey, Egypt, Palestine. The group has vowed to take action under their new campaign dubbed “Operation Anon Down.”
“We may not even be able to prevent other Anons from being slain by murderous police – but we can sure as hell show them that there will be a steep price to pay when they kill us.”
The IIO is currently taking lead in the investigation, and is looking into the actions of the police officers when they came into contact with the deceased.
When asked about the message from Anonymous, Kilpatrick said the IIO are aware of the site issues but they are not relevant to the immediate investigative tasks.
“There are a lot of moving parts to this particular investigation,” said Kilpatrick. “This is our third officer-involved shooting in two weeks, and fifth since April 1 of this year.”
On Twitter, Anonymous sub-factions mourn the loss of McIntyre calling him a “fellow activist” and “fellow comrade.”
In an email exchange with Vancity Buzz, an Anonymous affiliate confirmed McIntyre’s Twitter account as @jaymach9.
“There are approx. 2.5 million Anons worldwide he was one of them,” read the email.
A day before his death, McIntyre has tweeted saying, “Anonymous splinter group 2 attend the scheduled meeting in Dawson Creek tonight starting at 6pm..”