No charges laid after livestreamed confrontation at Canadian Tire
Police say no charges will be laid after a confrontation at an east Regina Canadian Tire store that was livestreamed on social media.
Kamao Cappo was shopping in the store on the afternoon of July 26 when he was confronted by a staff member.
Cappo, 53, broadcast the confrontation on Facebook Live. An employee can be seen on the video accusing Cappo of stealing and, at one point, appears to push him against a shelf. Canadian Tire has since said the employee is no longer with the company.
Regina police launched an assault investigation following the incident. On Thursday, they announced no criminal charges will be laid in the case.
"What I think about is those Indigenous children, Indigenous women; elders, who face this injustice on a regular basis, and what's the message to them?” Cappo said in an interview with CTV News following the police announcement.
“Even on video tape, even if you video tape it, you still can't get justice."
At a news conference, Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said investigators gathered all available evidence, including statements from those involved, as well as witnesses. Bray noted that surveillance video was not available from inside the store, only outside. He added that investigators received video captured by Cappo.
Bray said police worked with the provincial prosecutions branch from the start of the investigation because of the highly sensitive and complex nature of the case, which included a non-criminal allegation about the motivation of the store employee. Cappo claimed after the incident that he had been discriminated against because he is Indigenous.
Bray said prosecutions recommended not proceeding with charges, based on the likelihood of securing a conviction, and that police and prosecutors met with Cappo to inform him of the decision.
“Ultimately, prosecutions have to make a determination what’s the likelihood of conviction and also, along with that is is it in the public interest to proceed in this case,” Bray said.
“They had their reasons for coming to the decision that they did. They forwarded those to us and we have an obligation to close the loop, not only with the victim, who came in and spoke with us, but with the public.”
Bray noted that business owners and staff have a right to ask customers to leave. As for whether physical force is warranted, Bray said it depends on the situation and the level of threat. He advises calling police to deal with the situation before it escalates.
Bray said he hopes there’s no backlash from the decision not to lay charges in the case. Just days after video of the confrontation surfaced on social media, about 40 people attended a peaceful protest outside the store.
Canadian Tire did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
With files from CTV Regina's Katherine Hill