Mounties apologize for handling of verbal racist attack on Calgary taxi driver

Two years after being subjected to a racist tirade by an unruly passenger a Calgary cab driver has received an apology.

CALGARY — Two years after being subjected to a racist tirade by an unruly passenger a Calgary cab driver has received an apology.

However, the apology to Sardar Qayyum didn’t come from his former passenger but from the RCMP, which reviewed how the verbal assault in November 2013 was handled.

A video from the cab’s dashcam that became public last summer showed a front-seat taxi passenger using profanity and racial slurs.

“Go back to where you’re from, take your wife and four kids,” the passenger yelled.

Later, the passenger said the cabbie would “strap a bomb” to his body.

An RCMP officer got the passenger to pay Qayyum for breaking his camera, but there were no criminal charges.

Qayyum complained and the RCMP looked into the matter again, but the Crown decided that charges against the passenger now would amount to an “abuse of process.”

The Crown concluded a charge of mischief for wilful damage to property would have been warranted before the decision was made to have the passenger pay the driver for the property damages. It said the passenger paid the driver on the understanding that he would not be charged and prosecuted.

“The RCMP would like to publicly announce our apology to Mr. Qayyum, the taxi driver in this matter, as the service provided to him did not accomplish a satisfactory outcome for him,” said Insp. Gord Sage, officer in charge of the Airdrie RCMP.

“We know the public expects members of the RCMP to conduct thorough and balanced investigations and this is our expectation as well.”

The formal complaint was made through the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission. The RCMP assigned a senior investigator to look in to the matter.

The report found the investigating officer became lost on the element of restitution, and “little effort” was made to bring the accused before the court for prosecution.

Qayyum received the results of the report and the apology at a meeting with Sage on Thursday.

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