People gather in Regina for International Day Against Police Brutality
Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism says there are issues in Regina Police Services
People in Regina joined communities across the country for International Day Against Police Brutality with a walk ending in front of the police headquarters on Tuesday evening.
Organized by the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism (SCAR), the walk was a chance to point out issues in the Regina Police Service. Around 30 people held signs as they walked along the streets before making speeches at the police headquarters.
SCAR member Bob Hughes said the walk was meant to "raise our concerns and hopefully they will fall on ears that are willing to hear us."
"We've had the police chief say there is no evidence, there is no reason to believe that they have racists within the Regina Police Service. That's just not even believable," Hughes said. "I know that policing is a profession that would require constant vigilance and renewal of sensitivity to keep people in the right mind for the work. When we deny those kinds of things it makes it really hard to change them."
SCAR also wanted action on Simon Ash-Moccasin's request to discuss racialized policing in Regina with the mayor. Moccasin filed a formal public complaint in December 2014 after two police officers approached him while walking near the casino in downtown Regina.
Ash-Moccasin spoke at the rally and asked others to come forward with their stories.
"What I hope to get [out of] all this is justice for all, for this to stop happening here on Treaty 4 lands," he said.
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The rally was also a chance to protest the reinstatement of a police officer who was convicted, on appeal, of assaulting a homeless man.
"Our concerns of what we see are an abuse of power of some police officers," Hughes said.
Before the rally,Deputy Police Chief Dean Ray said the Regina Police Service respects everyone's opinion and their right to protest.
"They are a part of our community, they are respected in our community and we have to look at what they are saying. And from the Regina Police Service perspective, again, I don't know if we will respond necessarily to what they are saying, but we respect their right to bring this forward and we will look at it from there," he said.