A third-party investigation conducted by the Human Rights Office of the University of Ottawa found that a black student faced discrimination when he was stopped, asked for identification, and then arrested after skateboarding on campus.
Last June, the incident occurred when a student was asked to produce identification by campus security. After telling security he didn’t have his wallet on him, he says he was detained and made to wait until Ottawa police arrived.
The investigation was conducted by Esi Codjoe from workplace law firm TurnpennyMilne LLP. The results were released Tuesday.
“Having considered all the evidence, the investigator finds that the student was subject to discrimination because of his race on June 12, 2019, on the university campus,” Codjoe said. “He was subject to discrimination under the code both as an employee and student of the university.”
“Their choice to follow, continue to engage, then arrest the student was also an unreasonable and disproportionate response to the situation. The student performed a skateboarding trick; he did not engage in any violent acts.”
University of Ottawa president and vice-chancellor Jacques Frémont released a statement accepting the report’s findings and apologizing for the incident.
“I would like to offer our student who was involved in this incident an apology, on behalf of the University of Ottawa and on my own personal behalf,” Frémont said.
“I am deeply sorry for the way you were treated and for the humiliation that you experienced. I apologize to you for what happened. It was unacceptable and it was wrong.”
The report released Tuesday is the first of two related to the incident. The second is scheduled to be released later this fall.
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