The streets surrounding the Halifax Provincial Courthouse were flooded with chants of support for a Black Halifax mother who alleges a racial profiling incident at Walmart led to Halifax Regional Police officers assaulting her.
“I personally just want what happened to be addressed and I want the officers involved in the situation to be held 100 per cent accountable,” Santina Rao told reporters outside a courtroom. “I also want Walmart to be held 100 per cent accountable because they were the ones who initially first made the phone call to ask HRP to come.”
With her father and her lawyer, Gordon Allen, by her side, Rao said she wants people to know that there are “repercussions” for treating people the way she was treated while shopping with her two children at the Walmart on Mumford Road in Halifax.
Rao, 23, alleges she was physically abused by Halifax Regional Police (HRP) after she was accused of “concealing items” at Walmart.
Nova Scotia’s police watchdog has announced it will investigate the incident, which Rao says left her with a broken wrist, a concussion and injuries to her neck and arms.
Rao is charged with disturbing the peace, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.
The Crown has requested that the matter be put over until May 12 while the Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT) completes its investigation.
Rao says she is still recovering from her broken wrist and relying on family to help with her children and her household.
She calls her arrest traumatic and wishes it had not happened in front of her children.
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