Home Muslim religion London lawyer questions police inaction after Muslim man was assaulted in parking lot

London lawyer questions police inaction after Muslim man was assaulted in parking lot

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In London, Ont. Lawyer wonders why no assault charges have been laid against man who allegedly tried to pull 75-year-old from his car in road rage incident that escalated to include language racist in a parking lot over the weekend.

Lawyer Nawaz Tahir said his father, sister and brother-in-law were in the Costco parking lot on Wellington Road South, waiting to enter a parking spot, when they unknowingly blocked another driver who was trying to leave.

“He didn’t like it,” Tahir told CBC News. “He got out of his vehicle, started yelling at my dad and my brother-in-law, walked over to the passenger side, where my dad was, and started banging the windshield on the door, then walked over to the passenger side. tried to smash the windshield on the passenger side wiper, then I opened the door on the passenger side and grabbed my dad, at which point bystanders and Costco employees stepped in. ”

Passers-by and employees managed to defuse the situation, although the “verbal tirade” continued. The man said “Go back to your country” twice, Tahir was told. Witnesses and passers-by told the man, “They have every right to be here,” and the police were finally called.

The man left, but witnesses noted his license plate number and vehicle information. London Police said the investigation was “active and ongoing”.

“We take such incidents seriously and can confirm that officers are continuing to investigate this matter,” a police spokesperson told CBC News.

But Tahir says the family were told on Sunday that no charges would be brought against the man.

Tahir’s father, 75, is from Pakistan. He arrived in Canada in the early 1970s and worked as a stagehand. The incident is particularly terrifying in light of the June 6 attack on a Muslim family in London. The family has been targeted because of their faith, police said.

“We asked people to be vigilant and help defuse situations like this, and that’s exactly what happened. It was really critical and really important given the anger and the venom. coming from this man, ”Tahir said, adding that the June 6 attack on a Muslim family in London is fresh in her mind and that of her family.

“It’s hard to say if this was a road rage incident that turned racial or a racial incident from the start. We don’t know what this person had in mind,” Tahir said. .

As recently as last week, Tahir was in Toronto speaking to provincial politicians about the importance of passing the Our London Family Act, which was drafted in the aftermath of the June 6 attack. Among other things, the law would establish a unit of accountability for hate crimes in the province.

“Too many Muslims in this province who come under hate-motivated attacks and then report it, and the charges are dropped, or the charges are never laid, and that ends up being a real barrier to reporting. discouraged from reporting, they think “what’s the point?” if there is no official response from the police, ”said NDP MP Peggy Sattler.

Sattler said she was shocked but not entirely surprised by the incident involving Tahir’s father.

“We need to make systemic changes to deal with these systemic issues, and the issue of hate crime reporting is a systemic issue,” she said.

No charges have yet been laid

Tahir is frustrated because the police told him they weren’t going to press charges against the assailant because his father got out of his car with his fists raised.

“They said because my dad got out of the vehicle and motioned to the man, in doing so, that nullifies the assault charge, then it’s a consensual fight. That’s the problem I’m going to. approach with the police, ”Tahir said. noted.

“In any civilized society, you shouldn’t hit someone’s car and grab them. It’s wrong, it’s assault, and we should send a message to people that you have to be responsible.”

Police now say they are continuing their investigation.

The mayor “disgusted” by the incident

His father is doing well physically, Tahir said. “We always like to think of our fathers as strong guys, but he’s soaring in terms of age and mobility. He’s limping, he’s waiting for a double knee replacement, he’s a heart patient.”

London Mayor Ed Holder spoke to Tahir about the incident and said the incident was “shameful”.

“Am I disgusted by this behavior?” Of course I am. Who do these morons think they are? »Said Holder.

“You know, you’re trying to find light in tragedy and stupidity, and Nawaz agrees, that passers-by immediately came to his father’s aid is positive,” Holder said. “Tell them to go home?” They are in their house. They are in London.

It is important that the police investigate the incident and take it seriously, he added. “When this kind of hate activity happens, the police jump on it.”

Tahir plans to call London police on Monday to demand answers.

“We know that prosecuting hate crimes in Canada is difficult at the best of times. For me, I want to be held accountable for the assault, ”he said. “Some people need to take a deep breath. Why did an argument in a parking lot turn into ‘Go back to your country’? Why has it become a point of physical contact?”

Afternoon route7:39Our family law in London

Sheikh Aarij Anwer, Imam of the London Muslim Mosque, and Fatema Abdalla, Communications Coordinator for the National Council of Canadian Muslims, speak with CBC Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre about the Our London Family Act. 7:39