On December 14, 2022, David Aloba, a five-year-old student of Samuel Burland School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was bitten by a police dog when the Canine Division of the Winnipeg Police Department Visited his school. The boy was taken to the hospital, where he received multiple stitches to his lower lips from a plastic surgeon. Winnipeg Police reported the incident to the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba, which is obligated to investigate incidents involving the police. However, the unit decided not to investigate the incident because David’s injury was not classified as ‘Serious’. According to the unit’s website, serious injuries involve a hospital admission, dismemberment or death. In an article published by CBC, an investigator from the unit, was quoted as saying that “although David was taken to the hospital, he was not admitted and that the unit could still carry out an investigation if there’s enough public interest”. In response, Mr and Mrs Aloba authorized NovaDOC African Community to release an online petition to gain public interest, and it received more than 3000 signatures in the first few days.
How do David’s parents feel about the incident and the way the authorities involved have handled it? What systemic changes do they want to see to avoid a reoccurrence? How can this incident psychologically impact David, his family and other community members? Legally, who should be held liable for damages?