CAIR-CAN WELCOMES REVIEW OF OTTAWA POLICE ‘PROFILING CASE’
(OTTAWA, CANADA – 11/11/05) – The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) today said it welcomes the announcement that the Ontario Human Rights Commission is referring a case of alleged racial profiling and police brutality by the Ottawa Police to its tribunal for adjudication.
According to news reports, police officers raided the Ambassador Bar and Grill restaurant in Ottawa in January 2004 and arrested only non-white individuals, most of whom were Somali Canadians. Some of those present in the restaurant at the time have also alleged the police used excessive force. None of the individuals arrested were ever charged. An internal investigation by the Ottawa Police has cleared their officers of any misconduct, however the rights commission has reportedly disagreed with the investigation’s findings.
“We hope that the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal will carefully examine this case and determine whether there was any racial profiling or police misconduct,” says Riad Saloojee, CAIR-CAN’s Executive Director. “It is critical that an impartial and independent third party examines the propriety of police conduct in this case.”
CAIR-CAN had recently asked Ottawa Police Chief Vince Bevan for a meeting to discuss a number of other complaints that the CAIR-CAN office had received regarding police misconduct, however the request was ignored.
Concerns about police misconduct have been mounting with the recent police raid of an Ottawa Muslim family during the Islamic holy month of fasting. The family alleges that they were improperly assaulted without justification by a team of police officers during a family gathering. Reports indicate that at least three children, including a four-month-old baby, were hurt in the incident.
For more information, please contact Halima Mautbur at 613-254-9704 or 613-795-2012.