South Shore assault victim gets apology from police but says she's waiting for charges
MONTREAL -- The chief of Longueuil police has apologized to a woman who made an assault complaint two months ago and never heard back about the file.
In June, Masabatha Kakandjika was tackled by a mall security guard in front of her four kids.
While police now say they should have gotten back to her sooner, she says she won't be satisfied until she hears whether it'll go to court.
Her kids say they haven’t felt safe since watching the incident. Sometimes they even feel better carrying sticks around, explained one of the boys, showing a reporter his little sisters’ sticks and his own.
The siblings seemed happy about the belated response from police, saying they loved the tour of the police station that Longueuil Police Chief Fady Dagher offered them as a way to make amends with their mom.
“It looked amazing! I really like the police,” said one of the little girls.
But Kakandjika herself says she still wants answers about the case.
“We really appreciate what the chief of police of Longueuil is doing,” she said. “But I don't want to lie to you—I’m still skeptical about why is this not yet prosecuted? Why is it taking so long?”
She went public with the story last month because she’d heard nothing back from Longueuil police in two months. The alleged assault was serious enough that bystanders were helping pull the guard off of her in the parking lot of the mall.
Kakandjika, who is Black, said that at the time the guard told her “This is not your country.”
Dagher said the case was accidentally put on the back burner. Officers went on vacation, he said, and the file fell through the cracks.
“I met her recently and said ‘Listen, I'm very sorry, it should not happen again,’” he says.
In addition to the tour he offered them, he said he put them in touch with some social services as a way to make it up to them.
Kakandjika is still wondering what’s being done about the guard.
Police say they’ve handed the file over to the Crown prosecutor, who will decide if charges will be laid. But Dagher says that takes time.
However, while a delay is normal, families do deserve to be kept informed about the status of their file, he admitted.
“We need to make sure that a woman like her can come, be served quick, and the follow-up can be made,” he said.
Kakandjika says that whatever the outcome of the case, she still thinks it’s necessary to speak out so that other families don’t get similarly left behind.
“I want justice for what happened to me,” she says. “And I will do whatever it takes to make sure what happened to me doesn't happen to any other person.”