KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – Andrella David, the African Nova Scotian woman falsely accused of shoplifting at the Tantallon Sobeys branch, is not wavering in her demand for an apology from the grocery chain.
“I am awaiting a long over due apology from Sobeys group, and I am truly saddened that Sobeys will not recognize that the behaviour and comments of their employee, not only about me, but about my community as well, were simply racist, David writes in a statement issued on Thursday.
In October of 2015 the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission (NSHRC) concluded that David was a victim of racial profiling when in 2009 a store manager accused her of being a repeat shoplifter.
The employee also made derogatory remarks about her and residents of Upper Hammonds Plains, a historic and proud Black community nearby.
In its decision the NSHRC ordered Sobeys to apologize, pay damages, and train staff so that they recognize when racial profiling takes place.
Subsequently Sobeys announced that it will withdraw the appeal, but if and when a public apology will be issued to both Ms. David and her community remains unclear.
“This was never about the money for me; it has always been about the dignity and respect that I deserve. After 7 years, I will continue to fight for accountability, staff training and I will continue to await an apology that has been well overdue,” writes David.
David mentions the sizable attention and support for her case since Sobeys decided to appeal the NSHRC decision.
“I am truly grateful for all of the support I have received from not only my friends and family, but the entire community of Upper Hammonds Plains. I have also felt as support from people in Nova Scotia and around the country since this issue has become public,” she writes.
“I also stand humbled and grateful for the members of the public who refuse to sit by and say nothing.”
The initial call for a consumers’ boycott of the grocer originated from the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia (AUAB NS), an organization of 19 member churches.
This week representatives of the AUAB NS are at the convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches in Moncton, and there are strong suggestions that its 450 member churches may join the boycott.