CAW Urges Full and Thorough Investigation into Attack on Taxi Driver



    OTTAWA, May 14 /CNW/ - In response to the attack by off-duty police
officer on taxi driver and CAW Local 1688 member Sami Aldoboni, CAW President
Ken Lewenza is urging a full and thorough investigation into the May 11
incident.
    "We expect a comprehensive investigation into this incident. Equally
disturbing was the response of police officers who arrived on the scene of the
attack," said Lewenza. "This must also be fully investigated so that all
citizens can be assured fair treatment at the hands of the law officials."
    Today, Ottawa chief of police Vern White met with the airport taxi
drivers, along with union officials, to assure the drivers that the police
force understands their anger about the incident and that it would be fully
investigated. CAW national representative Mohamad Alsadi met with White
yesterday where the union was reassured that the Ottawa police would be fully
transparent in their role in the investigation.
    "By meeting with the drivers, the chief of police has demonstrated that
the matter is being taken very seriously and on behalf of our members who
drive airport taxis and those in the city, we certainly appreciate that," said
Lewenza.
    The investigation has since been passed along to Ontario's Special
Investigations Unit, a civilian body charged with investigating incidents
involving police and civilians. White also told the union that the Ottawa
police would carry out its own investigation into the conduct of the officers
following the completion of the SIU investigation.
    Lewenza warned that the union will monitor the progress of the SIU
investigation and expects it to be completed in a timely manner. "The CAW will
continue to be vigilant against any incidents of racism or attacks on
workers," said Lewenza.
    Lewenza also voiced concern about the quick response of the police union
that the off-duty officer was swarmed by taxi drivers, a claim that was
unsubstantiated by eye-witnesses.
    In recent years, the city of Ottawa has made an effort to hire police
officers that are representative of the city's diverse population and while
this practice is encouraging, it must be increased to ensure people of colour
are well represented on the force and are not ever in the situation of being
victimized, said Lewenza.





For further information:

For further information: Mohamad Alsadi, (cell) (613) 862-1994; or CAW
Communications, Shannon Devine, (cell) (416) 302-1699

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Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)

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