CALGARY — Alberta Health Services has apologized to a man who was severely beaten by security guards at Alberta Children’s Hospital last month.
Bronson Crowchild, who is aboriginal, believes he was the victim of racial profiling.
He was in the hospital on Dec. 30 visiting his terminally ill toddler sister when security guards saw him at the doorway and demanded that he leave.
When he protested, then swore and spit on the ground, Crowchild says the security guards attacked him.
He says he believes the guards thought he was loitering, but he had been there to see his sister, who had undergone a heart transplant.
She is now suffering from cancer.
“They started punching me at the back of my neck, hitting my pressure points, kneeing me in the back of the ribs, punching my elbows,” he says. “They grabbed my ankles and smashed my knees into the ground.
“There was nothing I could do. I just took my beats because I knew that if I hit them back, I wouldn’t see my sister again. I’d be in jail right now because of my look.”
Carmen Crowchild, Bronson’s mother, said the incident has definite racial overtones.
“The (guard) standing on this side turned around and said, ’we have people like him coming in here all the time to warm up,’ ” she recalled.
An Alberta Health Services spokesperson says the actions of the public safety officers are being reviewed internally.
Crowchild’s family says they received an apology letter from Alberta Health Services, which states the staff did not meet proper standards.
Calgary police are now investigating Crowchild’s formal complaint. Crowchild hopes to press charges against the security guards.
Crowchild was arrest during the incident and charged with assaulting the guards.