Alleged hate crime caught on camera at Canada's Wonderland
A recent dispute between two groups of guests at Canada's Wonderland is being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to York Regional Police, after witnesses shared video footage from what the National Council of Canadian Muslims calls an "extremely troubling" incident.
Police confirmed on Sunday that an assault took place within the popular Vaughan, Ontario, amusement park on June 27. A spokesperson for Wonderland told the Canadian Press similarly that there was an "altercation between guests" near the park's entrance around 4:15 p.m.
"We take every allegation of hate seriously and can assure our community it is being investigated thoroughly," wrote YRP on Twitter in response to one young woman's retelling of the account, but hundreds of angry critics say that police aren't doing enough.
Isn’t spitting in someone’s face an assault? Can’t the man be charged with that? This is absolutely sickening I really hope the @YRP do something about this. Also not surprised the family is from Alberta do they have yellow vests too?— Denise Rosenberg (@Rosenberg196) June 30, 2019
Police haven't confirmed any details about what, exactly, happened at Wonderland last Thursday, but a Twitter user who claims to have been present told her story in a now-private notepad post.
"On Thursday June 27th, 2019, my friend was verbally and physically attacked by a group of adults in a racially and anti-Islam motivated altercation," wrote that Twitter user, whose handle is @farrdosa, noting that she and her friends had travelled to Wonderland from Ottawa for their graduation trip.
The Twitter user says that, while inside the park, her 18-year-old friend Safiya was attacked by at least one white man and three white women from Alberta.
apparently the wonderland security guards told them the cameras supposedly did not catch anything. however someone was able to catch some of the altercation on a video(s). pic.twitter.com/Bpwcl5kFm8— SOMALIA HA NOOLATO🇸🇴🇸🇴💉 (@faathiaa) June 29, 2019
"A grown man spit in her face, told her to 'go back to her country,' her hijab was torn off by the women and she received multiple closed fist hits to the head," reads a screenshot of a note shared with @farrdosa's tweet.
"By the end of everything, the family walked away with a 'don't do it again' speech and left the park without consequences."
The note claims that neither Wonderland security guards nor a present police officer did much to help Safiya, and that her complaints against the alleged Albertans were met by the officer with contempt.
this is the officer who was dealing with the incident. while the victim and my sister’s friends were talking to him, they were many red flags that went up during their interaction with the cop! pic.twitter.com/xFSYyIO4R9— SOMALIA HA NOOLATO🇸🇴🇸🇴💉 (@faathiaa) June 29, 2019
Someone claiming to be the older sister of a girl who is friends with Safiya backed up the story by sharing videos and photos from the scene.
That Twitter user, @faathiaa, also posted a file containing what she says is a statement from Safiya herself.
"I apologized to a woman because my friend cut in line and she started disrespecting me just because of my skin colour and the hijab on my head," reads that statement, which goes on to say that a man later spat in the young woman's face and "lunged for my neck as if he meant to choke me."
here are statements directly from the victim herself (safiya) of everything that happened. the cops did not take her and her friends seriously and didn’t take any action! pic.twitter.com/my4S7IUp3l— SOMALIA HA NOOLATO🇸🇴🇸🇴💉 (@faathiaa) June 29, 2019
None of these allegations have been confirmed by police, though several videos do show things getting heated between the parties involved.
In one of them, a woman's voice can be heard screaming "racist *ss b*tches," "you're racist!" and "you're disgusting!"
Both groups were ejected from the park following the scuffle, according to a spokesperson for Canada's Wonderland.
As the videos spread, more and more Twitter users are coming at York Regional Police for how the officer present is alleged to have handled the issue.
"Is the police officer being investigated for how he handled it? Will he be required to do some cultural sensitivity training? what is your actual action plan?" asked one person in response to YRP's initial tweet.
"Officers are legally required to give their badge number when requested, but one of your officers refused. You investigating that?" wrote another.
Said the National Council of Canadian Muslims of the story: "Extremely troubling. We are now in contact with the complainant. Rest assured: we're not going to let anyone get away with racism or Islamophobia."
Extremely troubling.— NCCM (@nccm) June 30, 2019
We are now in contact with the complainant.
Rest assured: we’re not going to let anyone get away with racism or Islamophobia. https://t.co/KsU37nj5Ju
Someone claiming to be one of the women fighting with Safiya posted her account of the altercation on Facebook not long after the tweets above started going viral.
"WONDERLAND ALLEGED HATE CRIME was NOT racially motivated!" wrote Brandy Lynn on July 3. "My family was the other family involved in the Canada's Wonderland altercation last Thursday.
"Around 4 p.m., I was re entering the park after lunch with my family, walking through the gates alone with two of my four children ages 4 and 5 as the rest of my family were already through the gates on the other side," she continued.
"A women pushed my 4 year old out of the way and went in front of us. Frustrated I called her an 'asshole' and she walked away."
Brandy Lynn says the woman's friends started "screaming and yelling" at her "in aggressive tones," which eventually led to the exchange of harsh — but not racist — words. A physical altercation ensued and all parties were removed by security.
You can read the full post by Brandy Lynn right here.
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