(A peaceful protest at the Canadian Tire store in Regina after Camao Cappo posted a Facebook video.)
APTN National News
A First Nations man is fearing the worst now that criminal charges won’t be laid against a former Canadian Tire employee he says roughed him up.
“The Regina police and the Crown have just declared open season on Indigenous people,” said Camao Cappo.
“A white man or woman can go and assault an Indigenous person and get away with it. That’s very sad.”
Cappo said the news, which came Thursday, left him gutted.
“I felt terrible not so much for myself but for the women and children and Elders who experience these things on a regular basis.
“I can’t think of anything else I can do.”
Cappo posted a video of the July dust-up on Facebook where it has racked up more than 350,000 views.
He said he was shopping for a chainsaw with a friend when he was accused of stealing, assaulted and forced to leave the store.
He said it happened because he is an Indigenous person.
“The Indigenous people across Canada they tolerate this,” Cappo said in a telephone interview from Regina. “They put their heads down with burning, searing racism flowing through them.
“This was an attempt to show them you can stand up to them and win.”
Instead he said he lost his bid to right a discriminatory wrong even with proof.
“The police and Crown prosecution service have said, ‘No, you still can’t; even if you have video.’”
The assault shown in the video happened at the national retailer’s east Regina outlet.
Cappo said he will no longer spend money with the chain.
“I won’t shop at C.T. They slap you in the face and they kick you and they’re going to give you their business? Here’s our money sir – beat us again.”
Cappo said he wrote a letter to the company after filing a criminal complaint with Regina police.
He said he received no response.
Canadian Tire said the employee in the video no longer works there.
“So now, as a white person, can you imagine how they must feel? Knowing they can go assault an Indigenous person and nothing will happen to them?”
The Regina Police Service said the Ministry of Justice concluded there was not a reasonable likelihood of a conviction.
“While the store employee may have been mistaken in his assessment of the situation, the Crown would not be able to prove, on the evidence available, that he was dishonest about that assessment or acted unreasonably on the facts available to him,” the ministry said in a statement.
Police viewed Cappo’s video as part of “a comprehensive investigation” but the store’s surveillance video was never found.
Cappo said he will leave the video online.
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