‘When you watch that video it traumatizes you’: Lawyer for woman in video demands security guard be investigated

Annette Custer, the woman who is in a video being tackled by a security guard at a FrescCo grocery in Saskatoon, appeared at a press conference Tuesday organized by the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN).

Custer did not speak, but through her lawyer said she still feels traumatized by the incident.

“Watch it – no matter how difficult it is to make it through. I urge you to watch it because it shows Annette face down, her chest grinding on the pavement, her arms digging in the pavement. Her arms are contorted at one point, twisted around her back,” said lawyer Michael Seed.

FSIN Vice Chief Chris Jobb of the Prince Albert Grand Council says he’s from the same community as Custer and he is glad someone recorded what happened to her last week.

“When you watch that video it traumatizes you; when my wife was watching that video she started tearing up, (wondering) ‘Is this for real?’ We lost in touch with our inner human being,” says Jobb.

FSIN Vice Chief Heather Bear, who also works with the Women’s Commission of FSIN, says the excessive force is an example of the treatment Indigenous women and girls face.

“This is not an isolated incident,” says Bear. “It’s an incident that occurs more often than not when it comes to Indigenous women and girls; the mistreatment, the abuse, the attacks, the racism, the marginalization.”

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Seed said they are calling on the Saskatoon Police Service to investigate and look into charging the guard.

“She’s struggling to push herself up asking for help while a white male puts his weight on top of her leveraging her into the pavement with his legs. He puts his full weight of his body on top of her while bystanders beg him to leave her alone.

We are calling on the Saskatoon police service to take action against that specific individual to lay criminal charges if necessary but to seriously investigate Annette’s complaint against the security guard.”

The Saskatoon Police Service says that the incident is still under investigation.

Custer was charged with assault and theft.

The grocery store owner who is Metis, said the actions of the guard were unacceptable and he has parted ways with the security company.

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