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'I wanted to have a conversation': Protestors show up at home of man who dumped mulch at Brady Road blockade


A Winnipeg man who dumped mulch on top of a mural at the Brady Road landfill blockade last weekend says he was trying to start a conversation with protestors about who should pay for the search for the remains of two Indigenous women.

Kyle Kochko went to the landfill Sunday morning looking to dump a load of mulch from his previous day's work. When he was prevented from doing so by the blockade calling for the search of the Prairie Green Landfill for the remains of Morgan Harris and Marcedes Myran, Kochko approached the protesters in order to talk to them.

"I wanted to have a conversation, I wanted to see if we could make some movement forward to a compromise between the two parties," he said.

Kochko told blockade participants he believed the government should not be paying the $184 million needed to search the landfill, and that the money should come from Indigenous organizations.

He said one of the protestors began to get angry.

"He started to get belligerent with me and started getting violent and threatened to go and bring people over there to forcibly remove me from the property," Kochko said.

Kochko got back in his truck and began to drive away, but then changed his mind.

"Spur of the moment, I was like, 'I still need to use the back of my truck for work today. I need to dump this material,'" he said. "'If they don't want to have a conversation with me, I'm going to start a conversation.' And that's when I decided in anger to go and dump on top of the mural."

After shovelling all of the mulch out of his truck bed, Kochko drove away and thought that would be the end of it.

On Wednesday, Kochko got a call from the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) warning him about social media posts encouraging people to gather outside his house.

"They called me at about five o'clock saying, 'Hey, we just caught wind of this, preferably we'd like you to not be at home.' I told them, I'm sorry. But I'm not going to be scared out of my own home, and I'm going to be right there," said Kochko.

Police said a crowd gathered outside of Kochko's home around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday. Numerous police units were dispatched to de-escalate the incident and maintain public safety.

"The crowd grew in size to approximately 40-50 people and the crowd’s behaviour escalated to the degree of causing property damage," said a WPS news release.

The house's fence and door were covered in red handprints. Police said one person was arrested for breaking the front window.

"A 19 year old male threw a rock through a window of the residence," said the WPS release. "He was arrested on a charge of mischief under $5,000 and was released on an undertaking as mandated by the Criminal Code."

Kochko said all the protestors were gone by 10:30 p.m. He regrets that his actions caused people pain.

"Do I regret hurting these women who are already hurting? Of course. I didn't do this in an attempt to go and hurt more people that are already suffering."

The City of Winnipeg has asked for an injunction to remove the blockade. It was set up at the Brady Road landfill entrance on July 6 after Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson said the provincial government would not pay for the landfill search. Top Stories

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