London police appeal for info in viral video of anti-Pakistani comments

Click to play video: 'Viral video shows staff member using racial slur, arguing with customer at London, Ont., restaurant' Viral video shows staff member using racial slur, arguing with customer at London, Ont., restaurant
London police say the incident occurred March 20, 2021 and that the owner of Bamyan restaurant says the man in the video is no longer associated with the business. – Mar 23, 2021

London police say the owner of a restaurant at the centre of a viral video wants to express his apologies to the Pakistani community, adding that the staff member seen in the video no longer works there and is no longer welcome at Bamyan Afghan Cuisine restaurant.

A video posted to the London Blog Instagram account on March 21 had over 27,000 views as of midday Tuesday.

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In the video, an employee can be seen yelling a racial slur, saying that he hates people who are Pakistani and that he does not want to serve the people behind the camera.

London police diversity officer Const. Anthea Fordyce described the video as “horrible” and “so upsetting,” and said she reached out to local Pakistani community leaders to let them know that police “have zero tolerance for this type of behaviour.”

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She also went to the restaurant on Tuesday to speak with the owner and determine how to provide support for the Afghan community as well.

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“The owner who was there today, who wasn’t there Saturday during the incident, but was there today, he was visibly upset,” she says.

“He was extremely emotional and said he wished that this incident never happened and that he wanted to apologize to the Pakistani community and how the person who was responsible in the video no longer works there.”

The restaurant’s Facebook page and Google reviews have been flooded with negative comments and one star reviews since the video was posted.

Fordyce says Bamyan’s owner has received some “unpleasant calls” as well.

Comments on the restaurant\’s Facebook page posted after the video went up. via Facebook
Reviews on Google posted after the video went up. via Google

As for any criminal element, Fordyce says right now police don’t have any complainant.

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“We have a video that has offensive racial comments in this video. This video, we don’t know who recorded it, so the person who has recorded the video and uploaded it to the Internet has not been identified at this point,” she explained.

“So it makes it very difficult to be able to further the investigation because really we have lots of questions, as you would with any other investigation, to really identify what’s happened and who the victim of this incident is.”

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She’s hoping that those who recorded the video will come forward to police, but at this point, her focus is on outreach and making sure the Pakistani and Afghan communities feel supported.

“It’s certainly not two communities that are not getting along. It’s one person and an isolated incident. So that’s what’s really important here.”

Global News has reached out to the restaurant for comment but had yet to receive a response as of publication time.

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