GRAPHIC LANGUAGE WARNING: Woman in racially charged viral video identified as Cranbrook resident

Paul Rodgers

A video taken on April 21 at a Lethbridge Denny’s that depicts a racially charged verbal altercation between a woman and at least three other men went viral today. The woman in the video was later identified as Kelly Pocha of Cranbrook.

The video, recorded and posted by Monir Omerai, one of the men in the video, begins with Pocha saying “Shut your (expletive) mouth then. ‘Cause you know what? You’re dealing with a Canadian woman now and I will leap across this table and punch you right in the (expletive) mouth.”

Pocha repeatedly tells the men to “go back to your country,” “we don’t need you here,” “no, you are not Canadian,” and “speak English if you’re going to speak, speak English, it’s Canada. You don’t raise your nationalism here, speak English or don’t speak at all.”

Pocha gave an interview to Lethbridge News Now in which she said that the video does not depict the whole story, that Omerai only started recording when she was irritated and that she believed that the men at the table “were making fun of her.” She admitted that her comments were racist and said “It is what it is … but I do apologise for what I said, cause a lot of it is not me. I don’t normally say things like that.”

The video drew condemnation from both Lethbridge mayor Chris Spearman and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on their social media accounts.

The original video has been viewed over 210,000 times, and shared at least 5,435 times at the time of writing. Numerous people commented, posting Pocha’s LinkedIn page, identifying her as an employee of Cranbrook Dodge. Comments were made on Dodge’s Facebook page that they feel as though she should be fired.

Her name and profile no longer appears on the company website. Their social media channels went down temporarily and they have now been reactivated with a statement that reads as follows:

“We have recently become aware of a disturbing video that involves one of our employees. We are deeply concerned about the content of this video and want all of our friends, families, colleagues, and customers to know that this behaviour does not reflect the values of Cranbrook Dodge in any way. We strive to be a welcoming and inclusive company with no room for hate or intolerance.

The employee in question has been terminated and we deeply apologize for her actions.

Sincerely, Dave Girling and the Cranbrook Dodge Team”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

It happened this week in 1913

July 5 - 11: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

RDEK approves grant for start-up costs towards Cranbrook curbside recycling

Cranbrook is another step closer towards a curbside recycling program following the… Continue reading

New tee pads installed at Wycliffe Disc Golf Course, new course built near Radium

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the East Kootenay Disc Golf Club… Continue reading

Farm life: Musings of summer

Summer is one of my favourite seasons for so many reasons. I… Continue reading

Ktunaxa elder leaves legacy of courage, resilience and mentorship

Herman Alpine helped Ktunaxa move on from Residential School era, was key in revitalization of language

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Budget officer pegs cost of basic income as calls for it grow due to COVID-19

Planned federal spending to date on pandemic-related aid now tops about $174 billion

Most Read