What are we to make of Kevin Vickers, Canada's ambassador to Ireland, charging a protester at a ceremony in Ireland?
The man yelled "this is an insult" according to Independent.ie. Vickers charged as the man retreated, eventually grabbing the protester and pulling him to the ground. Here's the video.
Some background: the ceremony was to commemorate the deaths of British soldiers during the 1916 "Easter Rising" uprising by Irish nationalists. The British violently suppressed the uprising, killing hundreds of civilians in the process.
The protester was a member of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association and has been identified as Brian Murphy. He was actually protesting a contemporary issue, the imprisonment of two Northern Ireland men convicted of killing a police officer.
Given the context, several people have accused Vickers of assaulting a protester who was exercising his right to free speech. But on the Canadian side, much of the reaction was very different.
Vickers became famous after the 2014 Parliament Hill shooting. He was involved in the takedown of gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and many media outlets portrayed him as the hero of the shooting. Former prime minister Stephen Harper appointed him as ambassador to Ireland shortly afterward.
Lots of reaction, including from former cabinet ministers and members of the media, portrayed Vickers as heroic and a badass.
Others saw Vickers' actions as wholly inappropriate, especially given that he's a diplomat.
But there's been no reaction yet from the Canadian government. The embassy in Ireland refused to comment.
Justin Trudeau will have the chance to answer whether he sees Vickers' actions as heroic or inappropriate when he faces the media at his party's convention this weekend.
Paul McLeod is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.
Contact Paul McLeod at email@example.com.
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