The University of Ottawa has hired a human rights expert to lead the investigation into the carding and handcuffing of a Black student by campus security for over two hours, what many are condemning as racist and an act of racial profiling and harassment.
Esi Codjoe of the Toronto-based Turnpenney Milne law firm will head the inquiry, a former vice chair of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and an expert in the field of human rights.
Codjoe will be tasked with examining the carding and handcuffing of Jamal Boyce on June 12, a human rights and conflict studies student at the U of O and vice-president academic and university affairs of the program’s students’ association.
Other members of the U of O community have since come forward sharing their negative experiences with campus security.
Codjoe will be asked to determine whether Policy 33 — the university’s policy governing the power and role of security on campus — and the Trespass to Property Act were properly applied in Boyce’s case and in accordance with the law and human rights.
She’ll also examine the wider policies governing campus security, especially Policy 33, to determine whether they are up to date and “void of negative systemic impacts on any of our community members who belong to historically disadvantaged groups and specifically racialized community members,” the university said in a media release.
In turn, Codjoe will also examine whether these policies have a negative systemic impact on this group through their application. Codjoe will make a similar examination of the Trespass to Property Act and its impact on U of O students.
The university says the report spurred from Codjoe’s investigation will be made public within the limits of privacy laws.
They conclude Codjoe will “issue any recommendations relevant to ensure that the campus fully respects the human rights of all members of the community and visitors to campus.”