Charges dropped in Halifax Walmart arrest of Santina Rao

Press release:

On Tuesday, July 7th at 9:30am, Santina Rao will speak at a press conference about her struggle for justice, following a violent attack at the hands of police on January 15th, 2020. All charges against Santina have been dropped, in what is being hailed as an incredible victory and step forward for justice. 

On Tuesday morning, Santina was set to appear in court once again on charges of assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, and causing a disturbance. There has been a massive and ongoing public outcry about the fact that Santina faced criminal charges when she was the one left with a concussion, a broken wrist, bruises, and lacerations. On July 6th, Santina was informed that all charges against her were dropped.

On January 15th, Santina was shopping in Walmart with her young children when she was approached by store security and police officers, accused of shoplifting. After escalating the situation, multiple officers attacked her in front of her children leading to severe injuries. Santina was handcuffed despite having a broken wrist. She was never charged with shoplifting.

Hundreds of people have emailed and contacted Public Prosecution Services demanding that the charges against Santina be dropped. In addition, over 50,000 people signed a petition calling for the charges to be dropped against Santina, and for the officers who beat her to be charged.

“Many public officials and politicians have mouthed the words “Black Lives Matter,” yet continue to uphold racist systems while abdicating their own personal responsibilities. We remind them all that until Santina’s life matters, no Black lives matter. We will continue to hold the justice system to account until justice is served and racist police are the ones punished and not their victims,” reads an statement from today, issued before the news broke.

Halifax woman wanted on province-wide warrant

HRP statement on Santina Rao decision