In London, Ontario, Canada, police are investigating the actions of a White man who physically stopped a person of color (POC) from leaving a Sobey's grocery store because he believed the POC was an "illegal alien."
The confrontation began before Facebook user Katie Pocasangre Montoya began filming, however in the video Montoya posted to her Facebook, it clearly shows an unidentified white man blocking the POC's exit from the store.
@TorontoStar Clearly the man is being held against his will - on the matter of his race - the police have video evi… https://t.co/23V7gg8DaZ— Rocco De Giacomo$ (@Rocco De Giacomo$) 1532017841.0
The POC man in the hoodie can be heard saying:
I want to leave, stop assaulting me. I want to leave.
@TorontoStar He should be arrested and charged. 😡— Sonia Alves (@Sonia Alves) 1532021585.0
Montoya included this caption along with her video:
At my local Sobey's , ( LONDON ONT. NORTH LONDON STORE) a man accuses the young man of being an "illegal alien" & won't allow him to leave the store. Continues to push the young man to force him to stay in the store as he has called the police & wants the police to come to the store for the young man (while he has done absolutely nothing)
I shop here weekly. This is my grocery store. Please tell me, @sobeys that steps have been taken to ban this shoppe… https://t.co/8Al9BmqdY2— Allen Priest (@Allen Priest) 1531963190.0
The White man's actions were both illegal and cruel:
.. he continues to ask if he's scared to be deported & asked the young man to show his Canadian documentation, & tells him if he leaves the store he will conduct a "citizens arrest" on behalf of the police. 🤦🏻♀️
Montoya reiterated that the White man was only harassing the POC because of his appearance after people suggested alternate "reasons" for the unwarranted harassment.
... I see a lot of comments of people wondering if he was shop lifting, he was not, he rightfully PAID for his items.
Hey @sobeys what the hell just happened in London? Not the finest moment for your staff if the video is any indication.— ᴎiwbƎ (@ᴎiwbƎ) 1531968149.0
Constable Kimberly Flett said the man in the hoodie chose not to press assault charges, but that the investigation isn't over:
An assault occurred between the two, the victim of the assault did not wish to pursue charges. The comments that were made between parties are currently being reviewed by our hate crime unit.
@CBCAlerts Not here too 😭 We're being contaminated by bigots— Foxy Mama (@Foxy Mama) 1532006841.0
@CBCAlerts I wish the victim had pressed charges. The perpetrator will continue to treat people the same :(— Julie Nykoliation (@Julie Nykoliation) 1532014256.0
@CBCAlerts So sad. Yet, and looking at hate speech historically, when the Irish first came to this country they wer… https://t.co/tdSyx4WGSF— Alphonsine (@Alphonsine) 1532013955.0
This entire incident is informed by recent "heightened tensions" in Canada concerning immigration. The irony that brown people are indigenous to the North American continent is lost on many of the self-appointed immigrant police who attack brown people, accusing them of being illegal, because of the color of their skin.
The Conservative Party of Canada repeatedly makes reference to an "illegal immigrant crisis," a gross exaggeration preying on the worst impulses of human beings, to try and win the upcoming 2019 elections—an effective tactic they learned from the United States' Republican Party's strategy in 2014 and 2016.
Can someone explain to me how immigration being 0.816% of population in 2016, versus a projected 0.824% of populati… https://t.co/f3MXjMD6B2— Neil Before Zod™ (@Neil Before Zod™) 1531770810.0
All of the numbers for immigration in Canada can be found here: https://t.co/CyaR0e7kzC Here:… https://t.co/v8EwtitIYU— Neil Before Zod™ (@Neil Before Zod™) 1531773200.0
This isn't the first incident of blatant racism London, Ontario, has experienced recently.
In December, a man was caught on camera swinging a baseball bat at a Spanish-speaking family while shouting:
We got terrorists… ISIS, ISIS, we got ISIS right here!
The man was caught and arrested that same day, but not before "one of the family members sustained a cracked rib and bruising from the incident."
The Conservatives continue to mislead Canadians. There's immigration and then there's asylum-seeking. Immigrants (e… https://t.co/jnZqizpmMp— Diane Marie (@Diane Marie) 1531934403.0
People become monsters when they allow fear to take control of their actions. Perhaps politicians on both sides of the 49th parallel should encourage understanding instead of vilifying innocent immigrants and people of color.
Especially when the accusers are immigrants to North America too.