Woman at centre of alleged mall cop attack frustrated at legal delays

copattack

A woman on Montreal's South Shore is frustrated at the justice system's snail-like pace.

Masabatha Kakandjika said she was tackled by a mall security guard who told her Canada was not her country in Longueuil, Quebec in June.

She called the attack, which was witnessed by her four children, a racist action.

She reported the alleged attack and is frustrated by the length of time it has taken for justice to move forward.

“It’s sad you know, I just want to get this whole thing over and done with," said Kakandjika. "But it seems to be just prolonging itself. It’s like one disappointment after the other.”

She came forward last summer to describe how she was accosted over a misunderstanding about what line to wait in on her way to a government office in a mall.

“He grabbed me by my neck to pin me down," she said. "I started screaming just screaming, 'I can’t breath somebody help me.'”

After months of waiting for news, Longueuil police (SPAL) chief Fady Dagher offered an apology to the family and said an investigation was stalled because an officer had gone on vacation.

“We have to make sure that a woman like her she can come, she can be served quick and the follow up can be made," said Dagher.

The security guard involved in the altercation no longer works at the mall, but after the long delay, the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations (CRARR) can't understand why a decision on possible charges hasn't been made yet.

“Apparently there has been no prosecutorial action in her case six months after the incident, which we find a little bit shall we say baffling,” said CRARR executive director Fo Niemi.

Longueuil police say the file is now in the hands of crown prosecutors who will decide whether criminal charges are warranted, adding that it's normal for these types of cases to take over a year especially with the COVID-19 pandemic slowing things down.

The delay only adds to the pain for the mother-of-four at the centre of the attack.

“It’s another trauma, the waiting alone is another trauma on top of the trauma that we had to endure,” she said. 

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