No charges for woman who called 911 on Black man in Barrhaven park

Ottawa police say no charges will be laid after a white woman called 911 last month complaining about that 21-year-old Ntwali Bashizi was blocking a popular Barrhaven park trail.

Ottawa police say incident has been deemed 'non-criminal'

Ntwali Bashizi spoke to CBC about the July encounter, saying police told him to stop intimidating a woman who called 911 to have him removed from the bridge where he was resting. (Submitted by Ntwali Bashizi)

Ottawa police say no charges will be laid after a white woman called 911 last month complaining about a Black man blocking a popular Barrhaven park trail.

Ntwali Bashizi, 21, had been riding his bike on the Stonebridge Trail along the Jock River when he stopped on the bridge for a short rest.

The Carleton University student told CBC he was listening to music on his headphones when a woman approached and told him he needed to "get off the bridge" and let her pass.

Police say judgment of 911 operator was ‘problematic’ in bridge incident

CBC News Ottawa

10 months ago
Mark Ford, acting deputy chief with the Ottawa Police Service, said operators should strive to understand both sides of the altercation before coming to a conclusion. 1:15

Bashizi said he told the woman there was enough room for her to pass while still maintaining a safe distance under COVID-19 guidelines.

Police later apologized

The woman began taking photos and called police. In a video Bashizi later posted, someone on the woman's phone who identified themselves as an Ottawa police officer can be heard telling him to stop "intimidating" the woman.

In an email Tuesday, an Ottawa Police Service (OPS) spokesperson said the investigation wrapped up last week and the incident had "been deemed non-criminal."

Shortly after the encounter, the OPS apologized for how it had handled the incident, saying the woman's call was "not an appropriate use of the 911 system."

White woman calls 911 to complain about Black resident on Ottawa hiking trail

CBC News Ottawa

10 months ago
Ntwali Bashizi was riding his bike on a trail in Barrhaven when he paused on a bridge to take a break. He says a fellow hiker demanded he move from the bridge so she could pass, an interaction that resulted in her calling police and making threatening comments. CBC has obscured the woman's face because we were unable to identify or interview her. 1:15

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.


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