(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Earlier today, at the Shoppers Drug Mart in the McIntyre Centre, a security guard detained a person that had possibly broken the law.
Unconfirmed information is that the person being arrested is a 13-year-old Indigenous male. Another person, with intimate knowledge of the case, claims the boy is 16.
BREAKING UPDATE: Janet Smith speaks out about her recollection of the incident at Shoppers. Her account added at the end of the article.
Below is the video, followed by a description of what happened by the person taking the video. After the description, there is a poll I would like everyone to participate in. The poll is anonymous and no one will know how you voted unless you show them yourself.
“So, this happened about 45 minutes ago.
I was minding my own business when the kid in the video barrelled past me and almost knocked me over. I went to the end of the aisle to see what was going on and witnessed the security guard in the video holding an unsuspecting Indigenous woman on the ground, telling her she was under arrest. I believe that the kid you see in the video was attempting to hide while this was happening (I can’t say for sure, as I was watching what was going on with the guard and the woman)
The woman says “UNDER ARREST FOR WHAT???” at this point the security guard moved his attention to the kid who was still trying to hide. At this point I pulled out my phone and started recording, hoping that the presence of someone recording a video would calm both parties and prevent it from escalating.
Shoppers Drug Mart is this what your security guards are trained to do for minor shoplifting? Are they told to take the first Indigenous person they see after a security call and put them on the ground? are they trained to pick up a very young person and literally throw them onto the floor for “resisting”? (I’m sorry but when he threw him around the 1:22 mark, I don’t see any behaviour that required such an aggressive and violent maneuver). This was extremely violent and unnecessary.
Please share. I want people to see that this is the level of aggression that Indigenous people are faced with in Thunder Bay. Cops and security guards should be trained to de-escalate the situation before it comes to this point. You shouldn’t need to assault someone in such a way for allegedly pocketing some minor merchandise. I especially hope that the woman who was assaulted by the security guard before the beginning of the video sees this post and contacts me because I will 100% back her up if she chooses to take action.” – Chelsea Kathleen
Janet Smith’s account of what had happened
“Chelsea Kathleen is not the real name of the person who first posted the story and video about the alleged overreaction of the security guard in the video. It is the mother of the 16 year old (not 13 year old) who (according to sources close the case) entered the Shoppers Drug Mart with her 16 year old son and another son (age unconfirmed) and all 3 of them attempted to steal items in the shop.
- The Security Guard (Undercover Loss Prevention Agent) is part 1st Nation himself and is well known for his restraint and professionalism in past arrests he has made.
- The 16 year old in question ran through the shop when he spotted the undercover Loss Prevention Agent who was observing him stealing items. The 16 year old suspect then bolted to the pharmacy of the store, screaming and attempted to gain access into the pharmacy’s secure area and then assaulted the Pharmacist. The Undercover Loss Prevention Agent then tried to restrain him. There was no “unsuspecting Indigenous woman on the ground” as ‘ Chelsea Kathleen’ alleges in her story. That is fantasy.
- The 16 year old suspect obviously has mental health issues. And the Loss Prevention Agent who arrested him acted in an exemplary manner.
- The 16 year old suspect has been arrested before for stealing from a Shoppers Drug Mart location.
- ‘ Chelsea Kathleen’ who is actually the Mother of the 16 year old suspect should be arrested for directing her son (who has a mental Health issue) to steal in a retail store; by doing so she puts her son in harms way.
- Chelsea Kathleen’ should be aware that she was not alone in filming the incident: Shoppers Drug Mart (like all retail stores) have an in-house CCTV system.
- The Loss Prevention Officer and Thunder Bay Police did an outstanding job. If not for their restraint this incident could have escalated into something much worse.
- Chelsea Kathleen’ is guilty of posting a fake news item. The facts speak for themselves.
- ‘ Chelsea Kathleen’ simply put is a liar and committed a serious crime by ordering her son to steal from Shoppers Drug Mart. These are the facts. I challenge all readers to check all the facts before jumping to conclusions. !!!!”
Chelsea Kathleen has responded by saying “I am 100% not the mother of this child” and goes on to say that she was a shopper in the store. She further tells us that she is not a fake facebook account. She has declined to comment further. The story is still developing.
Here is a photo of a white kid getting the same treatment recently.
A spokesperson for Loblaws Companies, the parent company of Shoppers Drug Mart has said that the company has a “no touch policy” and that the handcuffs and putting their hands on the youth is against their policy. They say they have reached out to the security firm and requested disciplinary action be taken against the employee which includes he not work at any of their stores.
Thr spokesperson has referred to the incident as “completely unacceptable”.
Video credit: Chelsea Kathleen