Police have heard from two men involved in an incident at BMO in 100 Mile House on Nov. 21.
Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen said the two men, a father and son, spoke with an investigating officer regarding a complaint from a young indigenous woman who had said she was approached by two men in a White Volkswagen while she waited to use the ATM at the BMO. The woman said the men rolled down the windows coughed and laughed in her direction while loud music was playing from their stereo. She also reported that, while leaving the BMO, she heard the men in question say “you’re all going to die anyway.”
Nielsen said the two men, who were of Indigenous heritage and not Caucasion as was reported earlier, came forward on Nov. 24 and said they had travelled together to the bank for funds and had recalled seeing a young woman in line. They then made a joke towards her regarding not “taking all the money from the bank” as she exited BMO.
This joke was the only engagement they recalled, Nielsen said, though they did admit they rolled the windows of their vehicle down and were playing music when they pulled up to the bank entry and do recall coughing. However, they said it was not done with harmful intent towards the young woman.
“They appeared horrified and remorseful this was the perception of the contact, from her perspective,” Nielsen said.
Nielsen said the men have offered to meet with the young woman to have a reconciliation meeting, as they have no wish to cause further harm to her, the community at large or their own reputations. The woman, however, understandably, does not wish to meet with them and desires instead to move forward with the support of her family and the Band. Nielsen reports all parties are respecting each other’s wishes.
“In these difficult times, what this situation stresses is that perception can be different for anyone and we all need to be aware and self-conscious of our actions at all times. In times of stress, incidental contact can create a significant impact on a person even though there may be no intent in the other person’s actions to create harm,” Nielsen said. “100 Mile House RCMP recognize the commitment that all parties involved had with finding resolution and closure for this event.”