A Black man was verbally attacked with racial slurs before he was stabbed multiple times in a Brandon skate park on Thursday, in what police are calling an “absolutely reprehensible” assault.
Two women now face several charges, including public incitement of hatred — the first time that charge has been laid in the southwestern Manitoba city, according to police.
“The racial part of it is horrible. It is absolutely horrible,” Staff Sgt. Bill Brown, a spokesperson for the Brandon Police Service, said at a Friday afternoon news conference.
“And if that led to the incident, then it elevates, in my opinion as a policeman for 20-plus years. It is terrible.”
Officers went to the Kristopher Campbell Memorial Skate Plaza at Ninth Street and Princess Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, after a report about a group of five people assaulting the man.
I’m disgusted by it, as most people would be — all people, I would hope.– Brandon police Staff Sgt. Bill Brown
He had tried to leave when the racial slurs began to avoid a confrontation, but the group blocked him and then attacked him, Brandon police Staff Sgt. Brian Partridge said earlier Friday.
The altercation ended with the man being stabbed five times.
He was taken to hospital by a witness before police arrived. He remains in hospital in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery, Partridge said Friday morning.
Staff Sgt. Brown called the incident “absolutely reprehensible” at Friday afternoon’s news conference.
“I’m disgusted by it, as most people would be — all people, I would hope — and also by the violence involved here, at 7:45 on a beautiful, fall evening, at a place where people take their children.”
Video shows attack
In a news release earlier Friday, Brandon police said a video of the attack shows the man being punched and kicked. At one point he tries to defend himself and holds one of the attackers down. A woman then pulls out the knife and stabs him repeatedly in the side of his abdomen, police said.
The altercation ends as the man walks away, bleeding from his wounds. The woman who stabbed him had slashed the tires of his vehicle before the stabbing, police said.
A patrol officer later found a woman, matching the description of one of the suspects, walking a couple of blocks away. She had blood on her clothing and a blood-stained knife in her pocket, police said.
That woman, a 23-year-old from Brandon, was arrested and is charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, public incitement of hatred, mischief to property and failure to comply with a court order.
Another woman, a 20-year-old from Sioux Valley, was found nearby and also arrested. She is charged with assault, public incitement of hatred, public mischief and failure to comply with a court order.
The charge of public incitement of hatred was based on what officers learned at the scene, Brown said. He also said there were several witnesses to the attack, which is how officers obtained the video.
Police are still looking for three other people involved in the attack.
Brown said investigators believe they know who two of the three people are, and police will likely issue arrest warrants later Friday afternoon.
For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
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