|Kingston Police have laid charges against three individuals following a large block party, “estimated in the hundreds” on Aberdeen Street in the early hours of July 4th. According to police, the charges relate to breaching COVID-19 regulations. |
Three Queen’s University students between the age of 20 and 21 were charged for hosting a gathering of over 25 people. The tenants all resided on the same property. The gathering is considered an offence under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA). The charges were made following an extensive review of video footage and investigation.
Those charged have been issued Provincial Offences court summons set for October. The tenants face a fine of between $10,000 and $100,000 and there is an option for imprisonment for up to a year.
These students may also face sanctions by Queen’s University, who have been referred to the Queen’s University administration to determine if the Student Code of Conduct can be applied in this situation.
“The investigation is ongoing for the tenants of other properties who appear to have hosted, organized or condoned the large gathering,” wrote Kingston Police in a statement. “Kingston Police wish to remind occupiers of residences, whether owners or tenants, that if they are present at an event or gathering on that premise it is presumed by legislation, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, they are hosting or organizing the event or gathering,” they added.
The large gathering on Sunday morning appeared to be unexpected for Kingston Police, who had difficulty controlling the crowds until around 2:45am, when the crowds dispersed. Kingston has not seen a gathering similar to this size since March 2020, days after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
The night became especially violent after a fight broke out among two men on the street. According to a reporter on the scene, students said the fight was caused by a male saying “racial, sexist, and homophobic slurs,” and was “asking for a fight.”
In the aftermath of the block party, residents called the actions of the partygoers “infuriating.” “This can’t be real. Are people truly this irresponsible?” said one user on Twitter. “Embarrassed for both @queensu and Kingston, and embarrassed to be a @queensualumni,” another user Tweeted.
Queen’s University has responded, expressing disappointment in the students who were involved in the event.
“The investigation is ongoing for the tenants of other properties who appear to have hosted, organized or condoned the large gathering. Additionally, for those who have information as to the identity of any of the partygoers, whether they were organizers or simple participants, they are welcome to contact Constable Cam Mack at [email protected] or via 613-549-4660 ext. 6371. One can also provide tips anonymously by calling our general number 613-549-4660 ext. 0 and ask to remain anonymous,” wrote Kingston Police.