The family of a 14-year-old Black boy is calling for arrests after a video surfaced last week of the teen getting beaten up by a group outside of his school, while his assailants allegedly yelled the N-word and called him “monkey.”
"They were saying the N-word, they were calling me monkey... That made me afraid to wear my own skin,” the Edmonton, Alberta student, identified by media outlets as Pazo, told reporters.
On April 16, Pazo said he was crossing the field near his school when a group of boys, some that he recognized as fellow classmates, ran up to him.
In a 20-second video taken during the assault, a group of boys swarm Pazo, kicking and punching him repeatedly. About halfway through, a boy in a white hoodie catches Pazo in a chokehold before slamming him to the ground and punching him again.
According to the CBC, someone could be heard calling the student the N-word during the attack. It’s unclear who took the video.
“When it was over, they asked me if I was fine and then I told them, ‘Of course I’m not fine, you just attacked me,” Pazo said.
He suffered a concussion and bruising all over his body, and received hospital treatment, according to reports.
Following the attack, Pazo and his family reached out to Edmonton police. The officer who appeared at their house asked Pazo if he instigated the assault, Pazo said.
When I said, ‘No, I did not instigate the fight,’ he got angry,” Pazo told CTV News. “He told me, ‘Your mom is not here; you can tell me if you started or wanted to fight.’ Then I told him, ‘Why would I want to fight seven people?’”
Edmonton police is now investigating the incident, as is Edmonton Public School Board.
In a statement, Superintendent Darrel Robertson, who previously said he is “deeply unsettled,” confirmed the names of all the boys involved have been handed over to police and “recommended for expulsion.”
According to Robertson, two of the teens, including the one in the white hoodie, are not Edmonton public school board students.
According to Pazo, who is in Grade 8, the situation started last November, after a different student threatened him. That student was expelled from Rosslyn School shortly after, but his friends continued to target Pazo, Pazo said.
Andrew Parker, co-founder of the Black Teachers Association of Alberta, told CBC News the assault has to be “called what it is.”
“We don’t want this to be called an altercation... This is a jumping of a Black boy based on his race,” Parker said.
The family is seeking criminal charges against the assailants. “I need justice,” Pazo’s mom, Julienne told reporters, adding that she wants a full investigation.
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