VIDEO: Transit Police identify woman in racially-charged rant on B.C. bus

‘Go back to your country,’ a woman is heard saying to another – all caught on camera

Transit police say they have identified the woman behind a racist exchange that was caught on video and uploaded to YouTube this week.

The two-minute video, posted on June 24, shows an unidentified woman in a pink sweatshirt cursing and confronting another woman who appears to have been speaking a different language with another person on a TransLink bus.

Transit Police Sgt. Clint Hampton told Black Press Media Tuesday the woman, and man she can be seen sitting beside, were both identified by police.

“It appears the [woman] believes she was doing the right thing in that she believe she was jumping into help someone else and defend someone else and she just did that obviously in the wrong way,” Hampton said.

It appears the woman in pink thought the other woman was talking about someone else on the bus in a language that wasn’t English.

“You’re being racist, now drop it,” the woman in pink is heard saying.

The other woman replies: “No… I have the right to.”

But the woman in pink says she doesn’t care.

“Go back to your country.”

The foreign-language speaking woman asks if the woman in pink is threatening her.

“How am I threatening you?” she asks. “You need to stop talking in your language.”

The person behind the camera, identified as Randy Keeping, interrupts to argue they can “speak whatever language they want.”

“I didn’t say you can’t talk your language, I said you can’t put people down in your language,” the woman in pink then says.

As of Tuesday afternoon, it’s been viewed more than 4,000 times.

While the investigation is ongoing, Hampton said, there no criminal charges are being laid at this time.

In some cases, where a person commits a criminal act on public transit, or breaks the transit conduct and safety regulations, transit police can ask a judge or themselves ban the person from riding on public transit. Police are not currently looking into such action.

Racist rants caught on camera lead to conviction, job loss

B.C. is not a stranger to racist rants, with several being caught on camera in the past few years.

Karry Corbett, 48, of Hope received a two-month conditional sentence, followed by one year of probation, after pleading guilty to one count of assault in relation to verbally abusing lawyer Ravi Duhra on Oct. 21, 2016. The incident made international headlines after Duhra recorded the whole interaction on camera.

A video taken in April at a Lethbridge Denny’s depicting a racially charged altercation between a woman and at least three other men went viral. The woman was identified as Kelly Pocha of Cranbrook. She was fired from her job at Cranbrook Dodge, according to the company, after social media users found her place of employment through her LinkedIn.

Calling out racism on social media helps shed light on the problem, but it’s not the best way to bring about lasting change, some advocates have said, instead suggesting tackling racist ideology one-on-one with those you know.

Alfred Hermida, director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism, said the social media landscape is driven by emotions rather than nuanced thought about complicated topics.

The most powerful emotions tend to be anger and disgust.

“We need to, in some ways, catch up with the technology because social media makes it very easy for us to make a snap judgment and to … comment straight away,” said Hermida.

– With files from The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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