A family is in search of justice after a shocking video surfaced of a 14-year-old Black student being beaten and called racial slurs by a group of white boys in his Canadian community.
A group of approximately seven students chased the victim, who is being called Pazo in news reports, as he was crossing a field near his school in Edmonton, Alberta, on April 16 before brutally beating him in an attack caught on camera. As a result, the teen reportedly suffered a concussion and bruising on various parts of his body.
“They were saying the N-word, they were calling me monkey,” he told the reporters. “That made me afraid to wear my own skin.”
In the 20-second video taken by an unknown person during the assault, a group of boys engulfs Pazo, kicking and punching him repeatedly. At one point an individual in a white hoodie locked Pazo in a chokehold, then slammed him into the ground, and the N-word can be heard yelled out during the brawl.
“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. The young student had to overnight at a local hospital with injuries to his stomach, jar and bruising all over his body, according to CityNews. He also suffered a concussion, memory loss and a blood clot to his chest.
The attack is allegedly the culmination of months of harassment that started in November when a student threatened Pazo and was expelled as a result. The friends of the expelled student attempted to retaliate ever since, Pazo said. “A couple of months go by and the kids keep coming after me and coming after me,” he told CTV News. The incident itself occurred when last Friday when Pazo missed the bus and opted to take an alternate bus to get home. As he was crossing the field near his school a “bunch” of boys ran up to him.
“They start trying to wrestle me,” he shared. “They all start attacking me, and attacking me.”
Pazo and his family contacted Edmonton Police Services to report and visited the local station where she was allegedly turned away twice while trying to offer a statement. Three days later an officer arrives at the family’s home but Pazo said they tried to put the blame on him, asking if he did something to spark the fight. “When I said, ‘No, I did not instigate the fight,’ he got angry,” Pazo said.
“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?'”
Pazo’s mother told reporters that her main focus is getting justice for her son telling reporters, “I feel bad. Why I came out is because I need justice.”
Superintendent Darrel Robertson released a statement confirming that the students who have been identified so far have been recommended for expulsion. He also stated that “two youth, including the individual in the white hoodie as seen in the video, are not Edmonton Public Schools students.”
“Edmonton Public Schools and Rosslyn School have–in compliance with privacy legislation–provided the Edmonton Police Service with the names of all youth we identified as having participated in the assault to support their criminal investigation,” reads the statement.
“All Edmonton Public Schools students who were involved in the assault have been recommended for expulsion in accordance with the Education Act,” it continues. “As we continue to investigate and gather further information, if other individuals are identified as Edmonton Public Schools students, additional consequences will be implemented.”
Both the Edmonton Police Services and Edmonton Public School Board are currently investigating the attack.