After nearly four years a settlement between the Regina Police Service and Simon Ash-Moccasin has been reached after an incident involving two police officers on December 10, 2014.
Ash-Moccasin read the joint public statement outside the Court of Queen’s Bench in Regina on Friday, after the Regina Police Service accepted responsibility for the incident.
“The Regina Police Service formally acknowledges the hurt suffered by Mr. Ash-Moccasin as a result of his detention and the force used against him. The Regina Police Service, and the members involved, have formally apologized to Mr. Ash-Moccasin for this incident, and Mr. Moccasin has accepted this apology,” said Moccasin as he read the statement.
Ash-Moccasin claims he was racially profiled when he was stopped on that December day. Two officers in the area were looking for a robbery suspect, when they saw Ash-Moccasin walking near the casino. Even though he didn’t match the description, he was arrested anyways.
“Police were told to look for someone with no front teeth, short hair, dressed in all black and aboriginal as they state, carrying a TV,” Ash-Moccasin said in a previous interview. “I matched one of them, I am aboriginal.”
Ash-Moccasin reported the incident to the Public Complaints Commission who agreed, he was mistreated. But he didn’t stop there and filed a Human Rights Complaint against the Regina Police Service, which is now settled. Although the details are confidential.
“There’s so many things that happen in this life that keep first nations down, but you have a voice and when you use it you get results,” Ash-Moccasin said.
According to the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC), Ash-Moccasin filed a complaint alleging that the Regina Police Service discriminated against him based on his race and ancestry. While the Regina Police Service did not admit to breaching the code, it did apologize for how he was treated.
The SHRC also acknowledge Ash-Moccasin received monetary compensation as part of the mediated settlement and supports the Regina Police Service’s commitment to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Chief Bray was not available for comment on Friday, but in a statement said:
“As indicated in the statement by both parties: the Regina Police Service acknowledges the hurt suffered by Mr. Ash-Moccasin as the result of our actions. We have apologized and he has accepted our apology. We have enhanced our training in order to avoid similar incidents in the future. We hope the lessons of this experience make us a stronger and more responsive organization. We are happy to have come to a mutually agreeable resolution. Our hope is to move forward in harmony.”
Ash-Moccasin hopes to do the same. During the mediation process, he met with the two officers from that day and says that he forgives them.
“Do you know why I forgive them? Because they were given orders and because we’re human,” Ash-Moccasin said.
Read the full joint public statement here: