A Black Child Was Attacked In Ontario & His Family Says Police Haven't Done Enough
The family is frustrated by the OPP's "dismissive" response to the racist attack.
A family in Russell County,is reeling after their young son was attacked on September 22.
The family is characterizing the the incident as a racist attack. They say that the's response was "dismissive" and "lacklustre."
Due to the ages of those involved, there will be no criminal investigation, but the family is hoping for more accountability from the OPP.
Jeremy Kohm, who made the original Instagram post on the family's behalf, spoke to Narcity about what happened.
"A 10-year-old Black youth, who is my nephew, was biking with a friend, when they passed two white boys of their age," Kohm said, one of whom addressed him with a racial slur.
This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.
Kohm says that, according to the boy's mother, they then struck his leg with a scooter.
Kohm says his nephew's friend asked them to stop, at which point they stomped on the victim's arm, breaking it in two places.
What was the OPP's response to the Russell County boy's attack?
The boy's mother called the Russell County OPP at approximately 5:30 p.m. that evening. An officer did not arrive until an hour later. At that point, the victim had been rushed to the hospital.
The OPP stayed on the scene to collect witness statements and begin an investigation.
However, it wasn't until hours later that the OPP followed up with the boy and his family — by phone.
The family says the officer they spoke to was "rude." The mother says she was told, "calling someone the n-word isn't a crime" by an officer. She then asked to speak to a superior, who she says was more empathetic.
According to Kohm, one of the alleged attackers has been suspended from school.
The mother says she hasn't heard anything from the OPP since the day of the attack.
Narcity reached out to the OPP, who confirmed the incident and provided a statement.
"The OPP is working with the parents of those involved and has engaged community support services," they said.
"Due to the age of those involved, the OPP cannot comment on specifics of the incident, although they know that the incident started over a racial slur, but cannot speculate on the thought processes or the reasons it happened."
In response to Narcity's query regarding what "thought processes" or "reasons" had to do with the racial slur in question, OPP spokesman Bill Dickson responded, "Perhaps I could have utilized better terminology. The bottom line is that racial or other derogatory comments is completely unacceptable at any age, as is violence."
What did the boy's family say about the incident?
The boy's family is horrified by what he endured and frustrated by the OPP's response, according to the relative's Instagram post.
"I am outraged, disgusted, and appalled ... by what my nephew has experienced," Kohm wrote.
"I spoke with his mother yesterday," he wrote on September 26, "during which she broke down crying, admitting she hasn't slept since."
Kohm, who is white, says that he wants to use his post to raise awareness of racial injustice and hold the OPP accountable.
"It starts with opening people’s eyes to the fact that this still happens in our backyards," Kohm says. "We’re hoping that this will stimulate conversation and education within families - especially those with children."
How has the Russell community responded to the boy's attack?
There has "been a tremendous outpouring of support, empathy, and kindness," from the Russell community, the boy's mother told Narcity.
"We’ve had community leaders, support groups, and residents, as well as the mayor reach out and offer to listen and affect change."
Russell Township's mayor, Pierre Laroux, has also spoken out.
"Our community needs to [address] this act of violence," Laroux said in a statement. "As a community, we need to do better."
The family is currently seeking counseling to "learn how to come to terms with this incident and start to feel safe again," said the boy's mother.