Some of the Halifax police officers who were involved in the mistaken arrest of a Black woman in Dartmouth two years ago have testified about the incident before the police review board.
The hearing, which was prompted by a complaint from Kayla Borden, resumed Monday after a delay of 11 months.
Borden is a Black woman who says that police racially profiled her when they pulled her over while driving and arrested her in July 2020.
An internal investigation by police found no wrongdoing. Borden is appealing that finding to the review board.
Const. Jason Meisner, a dog handler with Halifax Regional Police, was among the group of officers who arrested Borden on Windmill Road as she was driving home at around 1 a.m.
Meisner testified on Monday that the officers believed she was driving a car that had fled police at an earlier traffic stop.
Arrested and handcuffed
He said the description that he heard on the police radio was a dark sedan without lights. During the search for that vehicle, he saw a car matching the description, followed it, and radioed in this information so that other officers could set up a roadblock.
The car Meisner followed was Borden's, and she was arrested and handcuffed when she stopped at the roadblock.
But seconds later, the officer who made the original traffic stop arrived and said that the group had the wrong car and driver.
Borden was released without being charged. She said the incident left her "angry, humiliated, and terrified."
Meisner testified that Borden spoke to him briefly about her concerns following the arrest. He said he apologized at that time. He testified the officers had been acting in good faith but it was clear to him the stop had "shocked" her.
'A long and tedious process'
Borden and her lawyers have asked the Nova Scotia Police Review Board to reconsider her case in the light of racial profiling against Black Nova Scotians.
"It's a long and tedious process but I'm here and still fighting for what's right, for accountability and changes," Borden said.
She hopes the board will examine how police procedures affect Black Nova Scotians. Together with her lawyer, she is asking police Chief Dan Kinsella to testify to the board about those procedures.
The hearing is scheduled to continue for two more days.
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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