Re­servist ac­cused of ‘racial slur’ not guilty

Cape Breton Post - - News | Cape Breton/Atlantic -

A re­servist ac­cused of us­ing an in­ap­pro­pri­ate term for a black co-worker’s hair and of later striking a su­per­vi­sor has been found not guilty.

The Aug. 3 court mar­tial de­ci­sion was an­nounced in a news re­lease is­sued by the mil­i­tary on Fri­day.

Cpl. Garett Roll­man was charged with striking his su­pe­rior of­fi­cer and two charges of “con­duct to the prej­u­dice of good or­der and dis­ci­pline’’ aris­ing out of an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing him­self and an­other worker in the kitchen at the mil­i­tary base in Alder­shot.

Dur­ing the court mar­tial, mil­i­tary judge Cmdr. San­dra Suk­storf heard con­trast­ing views from wit­nesses on whether Roll­man’s use of the word “nappy’’ on Feb. 20, 2016 to de­scribe Ch­eryl Richard’s hair was in­tended as a racial slur.

Richard tes­ti­fied she felt it was meant to be de­ri­sive.

How­ever, a black, non-com­mis­sioned of­fi­cer who works with both kitchen staff said he be­lieved Roll­man was at­tempt­ing to ex­plain a video he had been watch­ing with his fi­ancée about black hair. Roll­man’s fi­ancée is also black, Sgt. Christo­pher Jones said.

Jones had tes­ti­fied Richard had had a long-stand­ing work­place con­flict with Roll­man, to the point where the two were as­signed to work on sep­a­rate shifts for sev­eral years, and Jones tes­ti­fied Richard had taken the op­por­tu­nity to “go af­ter him (Roll­man).’’

The prose­cu­tion had al­leged that Roll­man had hit his su­per­vi­sor, Sgt. Earl Smith, on the hand, af­ter Richard ran into Smith’s of­fice fol­low­ing an ar­gu­ment with Roll­man.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.