Manitoba

2 protesters attacked with hockey stick following Black and Indigenous Lives Matter rally in Winnipeg

Police in Winnipeg are investigating after two protesters were attacked with a hockey stick following a Black and Indigenous Lives Matter rally.

Videos of the attack shows two women wielding a hockey stick at protesters

A woman swings a hockey stick at another woman in this screen shot from a video circulating on social media. (Boma Cookey Gam/Facebook)

The Winnipeg Police Service is investigating after two protesters were attacked with a hockey stick following a Black and Indigenous Lives Matter rally in Winnipeg.

Video of the incident, which was reported to police just after 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, is circulating widely on social media.

In one video, a woman can be seen getting out of a sedan on Broadway at Hargrave Street and charging toward the pair of protesters with a hockey stick.

A second video shows the hockey stick change hands with a second woman from the vehicle — before a second protester is hit in the head.

Theo Landry, 29, who is African-Canadian, was struck first.

"I was very much scared for my life," he said.

"I'm lucky it was a hockey stick because I don't know what they could have come out with."

Theo Landry says he was peacefully protesting when a woman started hurling racial slurs at him and hit him with a hockey stick. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

Landry said the incident started a short time after the #AreYouListeningMB rally for Black and Indigenous Lives at the Manitoba Legislature came to an end.

He said he and his friend were marching east down Broadway toward the Canadian Museum For Human Rights, where a round dance was set to take place.

On the way, in what he describes as an act of peaceful protest, Landry decided to lie down on Broadway for a moment in front of cars to draw attention to the cause and rally.

That's when a woman and three other people inside the car began shouting at him, he said. 

Jylah George-Marie Shallcross, the event organizer and co-founder of Are You Listening Manitoba, called the videotaped attack heartbreaking. 'Overall, I feel horrible,' they said. (Lyzaville Sale/CBC)

"[She] started yelling slurs, racial slurs, spitting insults and saying our protests didn't mean much," Landry said. "She was very much offended by me stalling her time."

Landry got up off of the road and said the car moved aggressively past him, so he tossed some water from his water bottle onto the vehicle, he said.

After that, the vehicle stops and the video recording of the incident starts, he said. 

A woman can be seen getting out of the car, with a hockey stick in her hand and moving toward Landry and his friend.

"You can see in the video there's a lot of anger driving her forward," he said. 

Landry was struck twice in the arm and was not badly injured, he said. 

However, his friend, who tried to intervene, was eventually hit in the head, he said.

WATCH | Theo Landry on hockey stick attack:

Theo Landry says he was peacefully protesting when a woman started hurling racial slurs at him and hit him with a hockey stick. 2:37

A second witness video, shot from a different angle, shows the hockey stick changes hands to another woman in the group who was in the vehicle and strikes Landry's friend, who declined to be interviewed.

Landry, who is a registered nurse, said his friend suffered a gash to the right side of her head and was bleeding. At that point, Landry said the group hopped in their vehicle and took off. 

The witness who captured the video recorded the suspects' licence plate and gave it to police.

CBC News has concealed the suspects' faces in the videos because it's not confirmed whether they are minors and they are not currently facing criminal charges.

CBC News has reached out to three of four people believed to be involved for comment.

Heartbreaking attack: organizer

Jylah George-Marie Shallcross, organizer of the event and founder and co-head of Are You Listening Manitoba, did not witness the incident, but called the videotaped attack heartbreaking.

"Overall, I feel horrible," they said. "I also feel very concerned for the safety of not just my friends, but for all of the Black and Indigenous youth and the rest of the BIPOC community in Winnipeg."

WATCH | Winnipeg protesters attacked with hockey stick:

2 people were attacked by women wielding a hockey stick following a Black and Indigenous Lives Matter rally in Winnipeg. 0:35

Shallcross, who supports the movement to defund police, believes the kind of violence portrayed in the video is what police should be dealing with, instead of wellness checks, for example. 

Shallcross believes the attack was an act of racially motivated violence and said Winnipeggers need to know racism is real and rampant in the city and around the world.

"This is why we're fighting. This is what we're protesting against," they said. "Seeing that one act, that is one of many acts that are not getting out there."

Major crimes unit investigating 

In an email, a spokesperson for the Winnipeg Police Service said officers responded to the report of an assault involving two victims and said the investigation is ongoing. There is no word on charges.

"Members of the major crimes unit are investigating," the statement read. "Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact police."

Landry, who has filed a statement with police, said he's not calling the attack an act of racism, but he is not ruling out that it may have been racially motivated. 

He said he hopes there will be some kind of restorative justice for those involved.

"The whole point of this is to create a world of peace and not to instigate and to create more damage," Landry said.

WATCH | Attack from another angle:

Two protesters were attacked with a hockey stick following a Black and Indigenous Lives Matter rally in Winnipeg. 0:13

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