Witness gives testimony at Hamilton police officer’s disciplinary hearing in carding case
The disciplinary hearing for a Hamilton police officer accused of unjustly stopping a black city councillor as he waited for a bus has heard from a witness to the April 26, 2016, encounter.
Shahzi Bokhari has told the hearing she was driving along Stinson Street at Victoria Avenue when she passed two cruisers that were stopped on the road.
She adds that one of the officers was involved in an interaction with a man who was standing on the sidewalk, and whom she recognized as Ward 3 Councillor Matthew Green.
Bokhari stresses that Green was speaking “loudly” but “did not seem angry”, while the officer’s facial expression did not seem “welcoming or friendly.” She’s described the scene as “alarming.”
Bokhari, who works for the Social Planning and Research Council, adds that the councillor’s attire did not seem out of line with the weather that day and she did not see him “thump” or “beat” his chest.
Green’s allegation is that he was targeted because of his race during an arbitrary and unjust street check.
But defence lawyer Bernard Cummins has said that Constable Andrew Pfeiffer will testify that Green became aggressive after his client had stopped to check on his well-being.
Cummins has also drawn an admission from Bokhari that she can’t say if what she witnessed was “racially motivated.”
Constable Pfeiffer is expected to present his side of the story when the Police Services Act hearing resumes on Thursday.
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