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Police look to identify suspect in desecration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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Ottawa police are asking for the public's help to identify a suspect in the desecration of the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at the National War Memorial during the "Freedom Convoy" protest in downtown Ottawa.

Video on social media showed someone standing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Saturday, shouting "Freedom."

Investigators are asking the public to review photographs and video of the suspect. 

Police say the suspect is described as a white woman, average build, wearing a black winter jacket with some yellow on the front, a black toque with a symbol on the front, black winter pants and grey and white shoes. She was carrying a black backpack.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ottawa Police Central Investigations Section at 613-236-1222, ext. 5166.

"We have been clear that evidentiary teams that will be videotaping all aspects of the demonstration. We are acting on evidence of violence, hate crimes and unlawful behaviour," said police in a statement Wednesday evening.  "There will be consequences for anyone contravening City By-laws, Highway Traffic Act and Criminal Code legislation."

The chief of the defence staff said he was "sickened" to see video of people dancing on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during the protest against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other public health measures.

"I am sickened to see protesters dance on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and desecrate the National War Memorial," said Gen. Wayne Eyre in a message on Twitter. "Generations of Canadians have fought and died for our rights, including free speech, but not this. Those involved should hang their heads in shame."

Minister of Defence Anita Anand called some of the behaviour at the National War Memorial, "beyond reprehensible."

"The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and National War Memorial are sacred sites for our country. I urge all Canadians to treat them with solemnity, out of respect for those who have fought and died for Canada," said Anand on Twitter.

The desecration of the National War Memorial is one of 25 active investigations underway into actions during the protest in downtown Ottawa since last Saturday.

Three men have been charged with criminal offences in connection to the demonstration.

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