Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Arrest by Kane Niyondagara in Ottawa: family hires lawyer

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Police “sincerely regret the stress and fear » caused by the violent arrest of Kane Niyondagara. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from a written text.

The family of Kane Niyondagara – who was shocked, beaten and arrested by Ottawa police last February before being released in a case that law enforcement called a “mistake.” x27;identity” – hired a lawyer to study the possibility of reaching an agreement with the City.

Lawyer Anthony Mineault, specialized in personal injury, confides that the dialogue between Kane Niyondagara, 27, the City and the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has been initiated, but that the process is only just beginning. his debut.

Mr. Niyondagara wishes to give the City and the OPS the opportunity to resolve the dispute privately, Mr. Mineault said in a message on Friday.

Ottawa police pursued the young man, a permanent resident from Burundi, last month after a community member wrongly identified him as a suspect wanted in a homicide.

Mr. Niyondagara had no connection with this matter.

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He said told CBC that he had followed the police's orders to put his hands up, but that he did not understand why the officers were shouting at him to get on the ground. He then fled out of fear.

The officers chased him and then shocked him with a stun gun before tackling him to the ground, hitting and kicking him near his home in Orléans.

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It was on this sidewalk, along Innes Road, where Kane Niyondagara says he was when the police ordered him to stand kneel. The place is located across a driveway leading to a Starbucks. (File photo)

Last week, the OPS responded by email that it sincerely regrets the stress and fear caused to Mr. Niyondagara and understands the impact this event has had on his life and on the trust of the community.

This statement was made after several leaders in the black community denounced the intervention, accusing the OPS of racial profiling.< /p>

Kane Niyondagara's mother, Ernestine Mosozi, believes police efforts to contact her son were clumsy. She mentions in particular a Facebook message riddled with spelling mistakes coming from a private account and seeking to obtain her son's contact details.

The SPO did not respond to a question about whether this post had been officially approved. The official police statement did not satisfy the family either.

I noticed that the response was not an apology but rather regret, Ms. Mosozi said in a written message.

She adds that the family had hired Ms. Mineault to represent them and that she requested that all future communications from the OPS go through her.

The police are also reaching out to the Burundian community, according to the president of the Alliance of Burundians of Canada, Martine-Rita Sabushimike.

She points out that the OPS proposed a meeting with Chief Eric Stubbs. While she is not ruling out such a meeting, for now she is focusing on how the alliance can support Mr. Niyondagara and his family.

According to her, the police's explanation about the intervention was evasive and very vague.

They didn't apologize, they just regretted the event.

A quote from Martine-Rita Sabushimike, president of the Alliance of Burundians of Canada

Ms. Sabushimike says the community has been disappointed in the past.

She says she has spoken to young Canadians of Burundian origin who feel like they are targets every time they walk in the street.

We have talked before. They know the problems there are in the black community with the police. They know there are changes to be made. Everything was said during the meetings, during the meetings. Sit once again, why, without action? argues the president of the Alliance of Burundians of Canada.

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The president of the Alliance of Burundians of Canada, Martine-Rita Sabushimike, says the community had been disappointed by the police in the past. (File photo)

According to OPS statistics, black people represent a disproportionate share of people subjected to the use of force by the police. Ms. Sabushimike calls for better training and sanctions for police officers involved in the arrest of Kane Niyondagara.

In their official statement last week, police also provided the most detailed account yet of what happened on February 16, when Mr. Niyondagara left a Starbucks on Innes Road.

Police say they received several calls the previous week that a homicide suspect had been seen at that location. When a new report was received that morning, police responded quickly, according to the OPS statement.

Officers then spotted Mr Niyondagara who matched the caller's description.

Their decision to pursue him after he fled was based on standard protocols for ensuring public safety when a potentially dangerous suspect is on the loose, police said.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The OPS has not commented on the force used to arrest Kane Niyondagara, although a paramedic report confirms the officers punched him and foot then electrified him with an electric pulse gun.

A witness recorded part of the arrest on video. It shows Mr. Niyondagara being kicked and an officer pushing his face into the snow.

Partial video of the arrest of Kane Niyondagara on February 16, 2024 in Ottawa.

The initial suspicion was based on mistaken identification by a community member and not by police, the OPS statement said.

The police response was triggered by Mr. Niyondagara's decision to flee, a reaction which, in the circumstances, heightened concerns for the safety of the community.

A quote from Statement by Ottawa Police Service

The OPS emphasizes that it had reviewed this appeal and was committed to to learn from this situation.

For her part, Rita-Martine Sabushimike noted that Kane Niyondagara and his family were disappointed with this explanation.

For them, the police response is ridiculous. They don't believe [the Ottawa police] acted fairly towards Kane Niyondagara and they want justice to be done. They say they're sorry, but they haven't apologized, she said.

The executive director of the African Canadian Association of Ottawa and former member of the OPS Community Equity Council, Hector Addison, maintains that the declaration was insufficient for the community and that ;it in no way justified the actions of the police that day.

The community is wronged. I want the police to know that when they see a black man, they should not see a threat, he maintains.

Black Legal Action Center Acting General Counsel Danette Edwards calls the police statement little more than a means to limit the damage.

She called blaming the community member who made the call instead scandalous than on the violent actions of the police officers involved.

She considers that this in no way explains the behavior of the police officers

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">There is no apology to the community, so I'm not entirely sure of the intent of this statement. It's sort of a non-answer, Ms. Edwards argues.

With information from ArthurWhite-Crummey

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