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Montréal, December 11, 2020 – Months after going public with her violent assault by a security guard, a Longueuil Black woman is still kept in the dark by the justice system.

Last June 10, Masabatha Sylvia Kakandjika, a 41-year-old Black South African mother, was violenty grabbed by her neck by a private security guard and slammed against the wall at the Place Désormeaux mall south of Montreal. Kakandjika was going in a government office to quickly drop off a payment, but was told to wait in the wrong line. When she complained about waiting in the wrong line while her children were waiting outside in her car, the guard questioned her and then placed her under the arrest.

During the arrest, Kakandjika told the guard that she worked as a law enforcement officer in her native country, and that there was no need to be so violent. The guard said: “This is not your country, this is Canada, I am an officer of the law and I have a right to arrest you.”

Bystanders and her oldest son intervened to protect her from the guard. Kakandjika called 9-1-1 and the police eventually arrived, arrested the guard and charged him with assault.

Since then, she and her children have been seeing a psychologist and a social worker. After the incident, Kakandjika did not hear from the police. A staff member from the Crime Victims Assistance Center (CAVAC) contacted her but displayed bias and insensitivity, so she stopped dealing with it at the time. She sought CRARR’s help with her case.

After a press conference held last July, the Longueuil Police Service reached out to her and sent a counselor to assess her needs. Longueuil Police Chief Dagher met with her and her children at the police headquarters to support the family. As of today, however, Kakandjika still has no news from the courts. She is concerned about being forgotten by the justice system and that the bias element of her assault has been trivialized.

“As a victim of crime, I find the silence of the justice system appalling. It treats me as if I don’t count, and the assault on me is not being taken seriously,” she said.

“We are trying to get information from the Longueuil Police as we have no idea where her file is with the prosecutor’s office. This is not how one helps a victim of crime, especially a victim of an apparent biased-based crime,” CRARR Executive Director Fo Niemi said.

CRARR has filed on her behalf a complaint against the guard with the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission and the Bureau de la Sécurité Privé; the latter has begun investigating the case. There is no news from the Human Rights Commission since its reception of the complaint last August.