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Investigators say assault on 14-year-old Black boy was a 'consensual' fight that escalated

Last Updated Apr 29, 2021 at 4:50 pm MDT

(Edmonton Police Service)

EDMONTON – Edmonton police officers investigating an assault of a young boy which was caught on camera say the events started as a “consensual” fight.

Last week, a video emerged showing a 14-year-old Black boy being beaten by at least five other students outside of Rosslyn School.

In the video, the teen is seen being put into a chokehold, dragged, and thrown to the ground.

WATCH: Family demands justice after 14-year-old Edmonton boy beaten in ‘racist attack’

Police Chief Dale McFee updated media Thursday afternoon, saying the fight isn’t being investigated as a hate crime because there isn’t sufficient evidence supporting claims it was motivated by a racial bias.

McFee did, however, confirm another person involved in the fight used a slur against the victim. The victim, Pazo, said his attackers also called him a monkey and made monkey sounds.

Pazo suffered a concussion, memory loss, a blood clot in his chest, bruises all over his body due to the fight. He spent the night in the hospital and says he was left traumatized.

The family says it feels like its concerns are not being heard by police, but EPS says that’s an issue for after the investigation into the assault has concluded.

And while police say the fight may have started consensual, the victim told CityNews he didn’t instigate the fight.

McFee also tried to cool the rhetoric around the case after some of the youth involved have gotten online threats.

“Let’s be clear, we as adults and leaders, or perhaps aspiring leaders in this community, need to pause and think before inflaming this investigation,” he said.

The McFee would not elaborate on the nature of the threats, but says some of the youth involved in the alleged assault, or who witnessed it, are now afraid to leave their homes of speak because of “some of the actions of adults in our community.”

“As a community, [they] are tired and tensions are high, we get that. But as a community, we are asking for their calm and patience while our investigators complete their work,” McFee said.

-with files from Rachelle Elsuifi, Carly Robinson