OPP still investigating assault on Russell boy following racial slur

RUSSELL — Russell County OPP say an investigation remains ongoing into a Sept. 22 assault suffered by a 10-year-old Russell boy after an altercation with two other boys of similar age.

And the detachment points out that although children under age 12 can’t be charged with criminal offences, “this does not mean no action can be taken, rather that alternative measures must be explored.”

A social media account reported that the victim, who is Black, was called the n-word before one of the boys struck him with a scooter; the other attacker jumped on the victim’s arm, breaking it in two places. Both assailants were reported to be White, and police have put their ages at nine and 10 years old. The victim was also accompanied by a White friend when the altercation occurred.

“The investigation has confirmed that the incident began when one child used a racial slur against another. The exchange then resulted in an assault with one child suffering a non-life-threatening injury,” the detachment says, confirming the OPP Communication Centre received a call from the mother of the victim on Sept. 22.

The resulting social media post by a relative said the responding officer told the family that calling someone the n-word is not illegal.

In a press release today, the OPP emphasizes that the force “does not condone racism or bias in any respect.”

The detachment also says it’s “committed to working with all parties involved” and is working with community group partners as happens in any case involving young children.

The assault has been decried by Pierre Leroux, Mayor of Russell Township.

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