Windsor Black community not sold on new head of police union

Gladson Chinyangwa

The Windsor Black community is feels “insulted” on hearing the news that to Sergeant Kent Rice will be the president of the Windsor Police Association (WPA).

In 2015, Rice was demoted for 18 months from first class, to second-class constable in September 2015 after an excessive force incident. In 2012, surveillance video showed a Black man, Gladson Chinyangwa,  on the ground in a stairwell and Rice kicking him twice in the abdomen area. The following year, a judge found him guilty of assault. He also pleaded guilty to unnecessary use of force and discreditable conduct.

Although Rice has owned up to his misdeed and has worked on restoring his character, Ogochukwu Ijeh, founder of African Community Organization of Windsor, describes Rice’s appointment to head the Police Union as a slap in the face to the community. Ijeh added that it ruins the process of building relations with the police “because I cannot trust and go to talk to them.”

To his credit, Rice understands that his actions in the 2012 incident had damaged the Black community, and he wants to make amends and is and will continue to work to regain the trust and confidence of the community and his colleagues.

Irene Moore Davis of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society agrees that “none of us should only be viewed by the worst thing we’ve ever done or the biggest mistake we’ve ever made.”

Sergeant Kent Rice

In the coming months, Rice will assume the role of the WPA’s president. One of his main priorities, he said, will be to address morale issues that exist at Windsor police.