WATCH ABOVE: A Calgary cab driver is worried he will never have justice for an extreme case of racial abuse after the investigation was delayed. Global’s Nancy Hixt reports.
WARNING: This story contains graphic content. Discretion is advised.
CALGARY – A Calgary cab driver whose dashboard camera video captured shocking abuse, which spurred RCMP to reopen its file into the case, says he’s been told the summer holidays have delayed the investigation.
Last month, Global News exposed a shocking, racist rant from a passenger captured by dashboard video belonging to Sardar Qayyum. The passenger was later identified as Chad Pasloski, who was fired from his Airdrie job in July as a result of the incident. Pasloski has not responded to a request for comment from Global News.
Watch below: Full video coverage of the disturbing and graphic video of a passenger launching a vicious verbal and racist attack on a Calgary cab driver. Global’s Nancy Hixt reports.
Charges were never laid in the case, though Global News confirmed an RCMP officer gave Qayyum an envelope with $900 in cash on the day he was told charges would not be laid against Pasloski. RCMP did not comment on why no charges were laid initially.
After Global News aired the shocking Nov. 2013 video, RCMP reopened the investigation in two parts: whether criminal charges should be laid against the passenger as well as an internal review of the handling of the case by RCMP.
On July 28, RCMP promised the update the investigation into the verbal and physical abuse of Qayyum every 30 days, but that one-month mark has passed with no details.
Qayyum said he decided to call RCMP and said he was told summer has been busy, and that the investigation is delayed as a result. RCMP did not respond to Global News Thursday.
In a separate Calgary case, a woman who was caught on CCTV video abusing a different Calgary taxi driver was charged with a hate crime last Wednesday for her part in a July 2014 incident. Twenty-four-year-old Brittany Bachinsky was charged with uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, and can be heard saying, “I will f–k you up, buddy. You are a disrespectful motherf—er, you should be so glad to be in my f—ing country.”
Watch below: Hate crime charges have been laid against a passenger in a Calgary taxi abuse video. Global’s Nancy Hixt reports.
Qayyum said if his case was investigated in Calgary, it “could have been totally different.”
“It would have been done 20 months ago when it did happen,” he said.
Criminal law and human rights experts said it’s “puzzling” that the facts of the two cases are so similar, with such different results.
“The factual parameters of Sardar’s case are almost on all fours with the CPS investigation,” said criminal and human rights defence lawyer Jeinis Patel. “So it is definitely puzzling why it’s taking so long to lay charges, especially given there is a delay in Sardar’s matter to begin with.”
University of Calgary professor and human rights advocate Darren Lund said the law should be applied equally and “in a timely manner” whether a case is an area covered by RCMP or in a municipal local police service district. Lund said Canadians will be watching closely to see how this case is handled.
“I think how police react in these cases can really set the tone for how the public treats this issue,” he said. “In a lot of cases, the laws come ahead of people’s attitudes and we have to be reminded of: no this isn’t acceptable, this isn’t appropriate, and in fact it’s against the law.”
Qayyum said he is disheartened and losing hope the RCMP will ever lay charges in his case.
“They have video evidence, they have everything they needed…I don’t know what is the purpose to delay.”
Watch below: A Calgary cab driver shares his experiences with fares and his perspective on the recent charges against a passenger.