Regina man Simon Ash-Moccasin says he's victim of racial profiling

A First Nations man says he was racially profiled and roughed up this week by Regina police — and he's not going to let it go.

Aboriginal man says police wrongly believed he was a crook, used excessive force

Simon Ash-Moccasin points to a mark on his face that he says the Regina police caused. (Ntawnis Piapot/CBC)

A First Nations man says he was racially profiled and roughed up this week by Regina police — and he's not going to let it go.

Simon Ash-Moccasin has filed a formal complaint about the incident.

Moccasin says he was walking near Casino Regina Wednesday night when he was approached by a police cruiser.
He says two police officers got out and said he fit the description of someone who had stolen a television set.

He doubts it was the distinctive green camouflage jacket he was wearing.

"I'm pretty sure this wasn't part of the description — it's more my skin colour," he said. "I hate to say that. It's what happens in Regina."

Simon Ash-Moccasin walks through downtown Regina close to where he says police accosted him. (Ntawnis Piapot/CBC)

Moccasin said he was thrown into the back of a police car and suffered injuries to his face and shoulder. 

He said he was a victim of both racial profiling and excessive force.

Moccasin said he was quickly released after the police ran his name and found out he had no warrants.

Complainant played bad guy in police training scenarios

Ironically, the Saskatchewan Police College has hired Moccasin in the past to be an actor in training scenarios.

Moccasin plays the bad guy to show young officers what to do or not do when arresting people.

He's even played a burglar who robbed an electronics store.

"I said this to the cops, this is a bad time to do this. You know what's happening with Ferguson? I'm not going to let this slide."

'Driving while aboriginal' a common complaint, advocate says

Kim Beaudin, a spokesman with the Aboriginal Affairs Council of Saskatchewan who is Métis and worked as a justice of the peace for years, said he's heard of these kinds of situations before.   

"They call it walking while aboriginal, driving while aboriginal, or riding a bike while aboriginal," he said.

Aboriginal men often do not file formal complaints, he said.

But Moccasin was determined to do so. He went to a doctor and had his bruises documented before filing his complaint against the officers.

Regina Police Service said it can't discuss the case now that a complaint has been filed.

With files from Ntawnis Piapot and Bonnie Allen


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.