Montreal police are being criticized for failing to open a hate crime complaint file following a series of shocking incidents targeting a black family of six in Ville Emard.
Damian Buckley, his wife Malaina James and their four children have been targeted in a series of attacks since moving to Ville Emard from LaSalle last summer.
Buckley noticed the hostility early on when a young boy cast a nasty racist epithet his way shortly after the family moved into the area.
In the following months, the family’s car was broken into, eggs were tossed at their home and finally a statue of a black slave was left on their porch.
Buckley said that the final event left him unnerved as he works a late shift at his job, leaving his wife and children alone and possibly vulnerable.
The couple sought to file a police report following the last incident but that only led to further frustration.
“I assumed a report would be filed since it’s kind of like a hate crime,” said Buckley.
When contacted by CTV Montreal Thursday police offered a partial explanation when contacted to ask why police did nothing.
“From what’s written on the officer’s police report, the family wished only to report the fact to the police service and not file a complaint. If that’s not the case well we’re obviously going to make a correction,” said Montreal police representative Laurent Gingras.
An expert in the legalities of such situations said that the police dropped the ball by failing to act promptly.
“The statue or jockey is a dead giveaway. It’s just like having a noose or burning cross on your porch. It’s important that the police report it as a hate crime and report it as such,” said Fo Niemi of the Centre for Research-Action On Race Relations (CRARR).
The family of six says that they are no longer comfortable at their home but have been informed that they cannot move unless they find a new tenant who proves acceptable to the landlord.