While BC’s Independent Investigations Office continues to examine the events leading up to a fatal police shooting in Vancouver earlier this month, one of the people assaulted before the suspect was killed claims he’s a victim of discrimination.
Kathiye Elmi Cabdullaahi says support services were quickly provided to a white woman who was another stabbing victim, but he believes he’s been denied help because he’s black and has a criminal record.
“How do you say, ‘You have a criminal record, I can not help you.’ Is that justice in this country? Is this how you guys serve a black man?”
The 40-year old, originally from Somalia, says he’s been having nightmares since the April 9th altercation near Hastings and Gore with a 26-year old man from Edmonton, Abdi Gani Mahamud Hirsi, who was later shot dead.
Vancouver Police say they can not comment about this case because any victim is entitled to privacy, but they deny race, background, criminal history and immigration status are ever factors in how victims are treated.
Jean DeDieu, who works with a support group called Neighbourhood Care, says this case is not isolated.
“There is high-level, sophisticated racism in this country that may cause some of us to live in a box, afraid and not feel welcomed in this country. Maybe people don’t want to speak out about that, but I’ve spoken out about that for so many years.”
Vancouver Police can not comment about this situation, but they say a victim’s race, background, criminal history and immigration status would not be factors in how he’s treated.
Meanwhile, the Independent Investigations Office is still reviewing the circumstances leading up to the fatal shooting near the corner of Gore and Hastings.