City of Halifax to pay damages, apologize in jaywalking discrimination case

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HALIFAX — The City of Halifax will pay damages and provide a written apology after a human rights board determined a Black citizen faced discrimination by Halifax police when he was ticketed for jaywalking.

Jacques Dubé, the chief administrative officer, said Thursday in a release the municipality accepts the decision in favour of Gyasi Symonds following the 2017 incident.

The city also says the police officers involved in the matter will undergo "Journey to Change" training, a newly created program the Halifax Regional Police developed in consultation with the African Nova Scotian community.

Board chairman Benjamin Perryman released a decision last week concluding race was a factor in the police officers' decision to target Symonds for surveillance and investigation.

Perryman ordered the police to pay Symonds $15,232, give him a written apology and bring in improved training programs.

He noted the two officers were relatively new on the job, and their training was inadequate, which contributed to their discriminatory behaviour.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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