Young refugee charged with assaulting police officer

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CANADA — A 12-year-old Syrian refugee has been charged with public mischief and assaulting a police officer after she dialed 911 more than 60 times.

The young female and her younger sister used different cell phones to call the police, claiming they were ‘high-priority.’ Police finally drove out to the home after the last call, which took several officers away from a bomb threat scene happening at the same time.

The eldest girl then punched one of the officers when he had his back turned and attempted to hit him a second time. She told the officers that she would make false allegations against them, saying they had “touched her,” and then threatened to kill them.

“I am going to work for ISIS. I hate you guys,” she said, according to court records.

In her statement to police, she said she thought the 911 calls were funny and that she would do it again.

She spent 21 days in jail at the Manitoba Youth Centre following the sentencing. She was also sentenced to one year of probation and must complete 75 hours of community service work in addition to writing letters of apology to the police officers she harassed.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the girl had spent time in a refugee camp before her family moved to Canada.

“We know that [she] and her family went through some particularly difficult things in Syria,” her defense lawyer, Hillarie Tasche, said. “[She] has learned more and more that what she did was wrong and also that saying she wanted to work with ISIS was wrong because they were the very people that were trying to hurt her and her family.”

Her lawyer added that the girl has had to overcome cultural differences and a very different relationship with people in uniform. “I hope that she has learned through this process that the police in Canada are there to help us and are not there to hurt us,” Tasche said at the hearing, which was translated for the accused.

The provincial court judge, Murray Thompson, responded by saying the fake 911 calls were “no joke.”

“The reason she spent 21 days in jail was because these were very serious charges,” he said. “Even though she’s very young and she had a lot of trauma in her young life, and she’s new to this country, she knows that hitting a police officer is wrong.”

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