A viral video depicting a man sensationally kicking a pro-life demonstrator is under police investigation, authorities in Toronto, Canada said Thursday.
Toronto Police Constable Allyson Douglas-Cook said authorities are investigating an incident seen in a widely viewed video clip recorded during a recent pro-life rally, local media reported.
Marie-Claire Bissonnette, a youth coordinator for the Campaign Life Coalition, said she was assaulted during the altercation upon confronting a man she accused of disrupting an annual silent protest Sunday, The Toronto Sun reported.
“If somebody gets raped by somebody and they’re like ‘I’m a 16-year-old and I can’t have this baby’ think you should keep it?” the man says in the video.
“It’s a baby,” the woman is heard responding. “If someone is raped and she gave birth and she decided to kill her 3-year-old child.”
Her recording is then disrupted by the man spinning and kicking her. After she falls to the ground, the man’s voice is heard saying, “I meant to kick your phone.”
A version of the video uploaded to YouTube has accumulated over 800,000 views two days since being posted, while and a version shared to Twitter garnered over 2 million views in roughly the same span.
The man fled before police arrived, but social media users cited by Canadian media have identified him as Jordan Hunt, a hairdresser who was subsequently fired from his job at a local salon, according to their Instagram account.
“It has been brought to our attention that Jordan has been caught on camera assaulting an innocent bystander at a pro life rally,” Noble Studio 101 said through its social media account Wednesday. “We don’t condone his actions and he has been let go. We believe that everyone has a right to an opinion and the right to voice their opinion without fear of physical violence.”
Toronto media outlets including CTV said a Twitter account connected to Mr. Hunt defended his conduct in a series of tweets Wednesday night.
“I will NOT apologize for defending women’s right to choose. Even to a woman,” the user wrote in one.
“Heroes were always attacked in their day for defending the rights of others. MLK, Ghandi, susan b Anthony. I will NOT back down for defending women’s rights,” the user tweeted in another.
Police have been contacted by several people about the incident and are following up, The Sun reported.