A human rights complaint has been filed against the Bank of Montreal and the Vancouver Police Board after an Indigenous man and his granddaughter were handcuffed while trying to open an account at a Vancouver branch of the bank last year.
Maxwell Johnson and his 12-year-old granddaughter Tori-Anne, both members of the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella, B.C., were handcuffed on Dec. 20 after bank staff looked at the pair’s identification documents and called 911 to report an alleged fraud in progress.
Johnson and Tori-Anne were using government-issued Indian Status cards, his birth certificate and her medical card. He said the employee became suspicious and went upstairs with their cards.
“I was scared,” said Tori-Anne in January when recounting the incident to CBC News. “The whole thing, being handcuffed, after all the identification we showed that we are who we are.”