Media release Racism

PSA: Statement on the criminal charges against Santina Rao

UPDATE: All charges against Santina have been dropped!!!

See also: Press Conference: Santina Rao to speak on her recent win in the struggle for justice

On Tuesday morning, Santina Rao will appear in Halifax court once again on charges of assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, and causing a disturbance. We are angered and disgusted that Santina continues to face criminal charges when she was the one left with a concussion, a broken wrist, bruises, and lacerations.

Santina Rao was shopping in Walmart with her young children on January 15th when she was approached by store security and police officers and accused of shoplifting. After escalating the situation, multiple officers attacked her in front of her children leading to severe injuries. Santina was handcuffed despite having a broken wrist. She was never charged with shoplifting.

Hundreds of people have emailed and contacted Public Prosecution Services demanding that the charges against Santina be dropped. Despite the public outcry making clear the injustice in this case, the Public Prosecution Service has refused to use their discretion to drop the charges. This refusal makes a mockery of the word “Public” in their title.

The director of PPS phrases this public outrage as attempts to make his office bow to public pressure: we say that a mass of voices around him are recognizing an injustice, yet despite his office he is refusing to hear or act. We suggest that this public pressure exists precisely because of the injustice of their actions in charging this young mother, and that a prosecution that is not accountable in any way to the public serves neither us, nor justice.

Over 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for the charges to be dropped against Santina Rao, and for the officers who beat her to be charged. While the names of the officers who brutalized this young Black mother have not been released, Santina continues to be dragged through the court system, a trauma that also continues to affect her young children.

Many public officials and politicians have mouthed the words “Black Lives Matter,” yet continue to uphold racist systems while abdicating their own personal responsibilities. We remind them all that until Santina’s life matters, no Black lives matter. We will continue to hold the justice system to account until justice is served and racist police are the ones punished and not their victims.

Contact Public Prosecution Services through or (902) 424-2225.

The head office can be contacted at: (902) 424-8734.

The petition for Santina can be signed at:


Facebook event:

UPDATE: All charges against Santina have been dropped!!!