Racist tirade and physical attack captured on video in Barrie
A Barrie woman captured video footage as a woman shouted racist remarks and punched her in the head at Shak's World Community Centre.
Shak Edwards tells blogTO she was opening her business, Shak's World, a youth wellness centre that supports at-risk youth, around 8:45 a.m. on Dec. 3, when a woman started shouting from her car window.
"The lady just kind of drove up and screamed out the window that she doesn't understand how I'm open when there are white women that fought for this country that aren't working right now," Edwards says.
She thought the woman would keep driving, but instead she put the car in park.
"That's when I pulled my phone out (to record her) because I realized she was going to be coming at me," Edwards says. "And then the video shows the rest. She punched me in the head a few times."
The video shows a very angry woman walking toward Edwards.
"Get the fuck back inside if you want to fucking start something, I am fucking serious," the clearly unhinged woman says.
There are sounds of Edwards getting hit and the woman yells: "Why the fuck are you here?"
Two women step in and stand up for Edwards, asking the woman who she is. The attacker asks if one woman is a Nazi and then goes back to her car.
"Get the fuck out of this country," she yells as gets back in her car. "Tell your fucking Taliban friends because we got them too."
Edwards is then seen calling 911 to say she has been attacked. She captures the woman's license plate in the video. The woman then reverses her car as if trying to hit Edwards.
The police arrived few hours later, she says.
According to Barrie Police, the 30-year-old female suspect was arrested Dec. 3 by Orillia OPP on an unrelated matter. After that investigation, the accused was brought back to Barrie. She faces various assault charges and is being held for a bail hearing.
Edwards says Shak's World has been open for just over a year but recently held a grand opening, which was delayed due to lockdowns. She believes the woman heard about the centre and decided to go down there and express her racist views.
"She probably was upset that we opened," Edwards says. "That's what I got from it, that she was upset that we were even able to operate, especially with a Black business owner."
Shak's World has a staff of seven people who are dominantly BIPOC individuals.
While the woman has been charged, Edwards hopes that the incident will also start a dialogue in the community.
"We're going to be doing a call to action for community from our community," she says.
"Because Barrie and Simcoe County as a whole is a dominantly white area. And there are minorities, and there is more diversity coming to the city. So it's important for us to make sure that we keep up the conversations on why we need to stop racial injustice and promote anti-black racism."
Edwards grew up in Simcoe County and has experienced racism before, but not at this level.
"I'm really shocked still," she says. "I've never experienced that amount of rage or anger come at me because I am not an angry person. So I'm still digesting and trying to figure out next steps and how to navigate the world now because I am extremely paranoid as you can imagine because of that random attack."
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