Ontario Court of Human Rights has ordered Peel Regional Police Council to pay $35,000 in damages after a six-year-old black girl was chained by staff at her school in Mississauga more than four years ago.
It was gathered that Judge Brenda Bowlby had in the judgment on December 31, 2020, wrote “While the applicant was handcuffed and held on his stomach with an ankle brace for at least 28 minutes, the staff sec. Paragraph 1 of the Human Rights Code states that he should be treated equally in the service by treating a white child in an inhumane manner”.
According to reports, on September 30, 2016, two Peel District Police officers responded to a call from Peel District School Board Elementary School No. 911. Official records have it that it was the fourth time that month; police were called by the school to help the child.
Reports disclosed that after much hearing that day about a meeting between a 48-pound girl and two police officers who were six feet tall and 190-200 pounds tall, Bowlby called the officers’ actions found “Shocking” and “Punishing”.
The judge also averred that the boy was afraid of the police, started making fun of them, broke up with his friends and felt insulted, ashamed and guilty as a result of the incident.
In his decision, the judge said “The applicant was afraid of how he would treat the officers during the incident”
“I think this incident has led the applicant to view the police as a source of punishment and he is now afraid of the police.”
“This is very important because all children need to make sure there are police to protect them, not punish them.”
He added that it was “scary” that the child experienced black racism at a “very young age.”
“Because of this incident, he realized that as a black man, he could be treated differently than a white child.”
“There is a risk of future effects that are unknown due to the age of the applicant”.
It’s imperative to note that the application to the Human Rights Tribunal was filed on September 27, 2017 in Ontario by a child and his mother, represented by the Center for Legal Support of Human Rights, a service that provides free legal assistance to people who have experienced discrimination.
It was gathered that the defendant in the complaint alleged that Peel was discriminated against by the Regional Police Department for services on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, or origin that violated the Human Rights Code.
Official sources have it that the applicant requested $ 150,000 in monetary compensation for damage to dignity, emotion, and self-esteem, as well as approximately $ 20,000 for two years of psychological and trauma counseling.
In view of the development, the court awarded the applicant $ 30,000 and $ 5,000 in monetary compensation to be used to pay for the costs of consulting an accredited psychotherapist.
The Center for Human Rights Legal Support in a recent statement made available to newsmen, disclosed that only the mother of a child named DB said she was “delighted that this very long and difficult chapter has ended” and now “what is waiting, this is healing my daughter.”
“This decision gives hope to the team because we often think there is no way out,” he said.
But the respondent succinctly averred that no monetary compensation was required in this case because the Peel Region Police had voluntarily entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ontario Commission on Human Rights.
Official reports have it that the obligations of the memorandum include significant changes in the way Peel police officers serve children under 12 years of age. The Service and its Council have agreed to develop legally binding tools to combat systemic racism in the police.