Edmonton Elder banned from downtown mall says he was profiled by security
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Tuesday, October 28, 2014 5:13PM MDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 28, 2014 7:24PM MDT
An Elder at an inner-city organization says he was profiled by security at a downtown mall, after he was approached by security staff, and then banned Monday.
Gary Moostoos says he was at City Centre Mall Monday, eating soup in the food court, when security guards approached him. Moostoos told CTV News he was so shocked, he started recording the incident on his phone.
In the recording, mall security can be heard claiming Moostoos looks like someone else who had been banned from the mall – a line he said he has heard before.
“I’ve had so many people come through my office door here, who have gone through the same scenario,” Moostoos said. “They poke at you and poke at you, first it’s the identities, thinking you’re someone else, and then if it’s not, then they get reactive.”
The video shows the guards questioning him about the people he associates with, and as well as an incident dating back to the previous summer – that incident took place outside the mall, dealing with other individuals who had been banned from the mall.
The Executive Director of Boyle Street Community Services Julian Daly said Moostoos’ job is to deal with troubled people.
“One of the reasons he was given (for the ban) was that he associates with gang members and criminals,” Daly said. “Gary, in his spiritual role associates with everyone.”
At the end of the recording, Moostoos says he still wants to speak to someone other than mall security, but he’s told he’s been banned and has to leave the property.
Mall management issued a statement in response to inquiries about the incident:
“Our top priority is to ensure that Edmonton City Centre is a safe and positive environment for customers to visit and shop.
“In response to an incident that occurred on October 27, 2014, the management of Edmonton City Centre is committing to review the interaction between our security team and an individual who was subsequently banned from the property.
“Management will be conducting an investigation that will include reviewing the engagement by security, the policies we have in place and the training we provide. We will also be reaching out to the individual to request a meeting as part of this review.”
With files from David Ewasuk