Border guards wrong to search Indigenous man’s vehicle, court upholds acquittal

An Ontario court has ruled border guards at a crossing between a Canadian island and the rest of the country were wrong to search an Indigenous man’s vehicle on grounds that he had a criminal record and associated with others convicted of breaking the law. In a decision released last Friday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Nathalie Champagne said Kanawakeron Jody Swamp’s criminal record didn’t justify the earch that led him to be charged under the Customs Act in 2017. What’s more, the judge said, nearly everyone on Cornwall Island, situated in the St. Lawrence River with bridges linking it to the U.S. and Cornwall, Ont. ,has a relative with a criminal record, which means that also cannot be considered reasonable grounds for a search. Neither can the fact that Swamp,…

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