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Arrest made in hate-motivated incident in Kitchener, Ont. DriveTest centre: Police


Waterloo regional police say an arrest has been made following what they're calling a hate-motivated incident at a Kitchener DriveTest centre on Wednesday.

A video posted to Twitter by Mifrah Abid, a staff member at the Coalition of Muslim Women K-W (CMW), shows Abid confronting a person who she accuses of saying a racist comment.

“I just said don't be rude. I didn't say anything else. We're all waiting in this line. Everybody heard you here making a racist comment about brown people,” Abid said in the video.

Abid is recording the interaction from her phone when the person lunges towards her, grabs the phone out of her hand and throws it back at her.

“Don't [expletive] record me [expletive], it's not my permission. That's not my permission,” the person said.

The person then exits the DriveTest centre on Ottawa Street North as those in the room call out for security to step in.

“I was in a state of shock after being hit...quite literally ...but also shocked that this could happen to me- a vocal, professional advocate against hate, racism and Islamophobia,” Abid said in a tweet posted following the incident.

In an update on Wednesday evening, police said a 27-year-old Waterloo woman has been charged with assault, assault with a weapon and theft under $5,000. She is being held in custody for a bail hearing.

Abid’s employer, CMW, released a statement prior to the arrest condemning the incident and calling on police to hold the person involved accountable.

The statement reads in part: "All of CMW stands with Mifrah, who is reeling from the alleged hate-motivated assault she faced at a public place today. We are here to support Mifra in any way we can. We call on the police to take action immediately, to find the person to hold them accountable. We are hurt and shocked by our staff member coming face to face with such a blatant act of hate in public."

Local politicians are reacting to the video online, including Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic, who said on Twitter: “Mifrah, this video is very upsetting. This type of assault is not acceptable anytime, anywhere!”

Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife also took to social media to express her thoughts and said in part “this incident is very upsetting.”

While Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie voiced his support for Abid, writing “You’re very brave and powerful to call out such vile discrimination against you and others that were in that room." Top Stories

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