Protesters gathered outside the Calgary Court Centre on Monday to call for the firing of police officer Const. Alex Dunn, who was convicted of assault against a Black woman while in custody.
- Warning: some readers may find details in this story disturbing.
A number of anti-racist groups in Calgary, including BLM YYC (Black Lives Matter), Inclusive Canada and Black People United, say they will also contact a number of provincial officials.
Taylor McNallie, co-founder for Inclusive Canada says she plans to continue protesting and the Black Lives Matter movement has not died down.
“We are in this for the long haul, I will be black for the rest of my life,” she said, adding that there is fear in the community that more Black lives are at peril from police use of force.
Video released during the assault trial shows Dunn slamming Dalia Kafi face-first to the ground as her hands were handcuffed behind her back.
Kafi is seen bleeding in the video and the court heard she needed surgery for a broken nose and stitches in her lip.
Dunn was found guilty of assault causing bodily harm in 2020. In June, he was given a 30-day conditional sentence with no jail time.
A statement from Calgary Police Service to CTV News says Dunn has been suspended without pay and does not have access to equipment, including his badge and his gun.
Kafi died suddenly in Red Deer days prior to Dunn’s sentencing.
Her family told CTV News they are still grappling with everything and believe Dunn’s sentence should have been more harsh.
CPS also says they will be engaging in an internal disciplinary process after the criminal court process is complete.
Dunn is also the subject of an internal CPS investigation for an unrelated incident that happened in 2012.
The protest is also being arranged by a group called Black People United, which is focussed on providing social supports for marginalized groups.
Prudence Aticka says that the focus isn’t narrowly on Dunn but this case did receive worldwide attention after video of the assault went viral, he just happens to be the latest example, she says.
Aticka also says defunding the police is about investing in safety, crime prevention and providing access to housing and mental health care, adding that the current police model is draining money and causing harm.