Posted on Mar. 16, 2016

    Someone Called The Cops On This Toronto Dad Because His Son Has Darker Skin

    "Is this your son?"

    An afternoon with his son turned into a very strange encounter with police for Toronto dad Jason Thompson and his 4-year-old son Xavier.

    Jason Thompson

    Thompson, 39, was travelling back home with his son on Tuesday from the Victoria Park transit station in the city's east end. They boarded a bus around 2 p.m., but just a few blocks into the ride, the driver stopped the bus and said they'd have to pull over and wait.

    As the minutes ticked by and other buses started to pass them, Thompson asked the bus driver what the holdup was and if he could just get off and walk. The driver answered that no one could leave.

    That's when two police officers arrived. One stood at the back doors while the other got on and headed straight to Thompson. "He walks right up to me and says, 'Is this your son?'" he told BuzzFeed Canada.

    Jason Thompson

    Thompson said, yes, Xaiver was his kid, and the officer asked to speak to him outside.

    The officer told him they "got a call that something was 'off' and 'the father doesn’t look like the son.'" That's when Thompson realized what was going on.

    Thompson, who is part Jamaican, has albinism, as does his Indian wife. Their son does not have albinism and has darker skin than his parents.

    The officers were both apologetic, said Thompson, saying they had to investigate because of the call but knew nothing was amiss. They ended up driving father and son home — even turning on the siren for Xavier — and commiserating over how anyone in 2016, in a city like Toronto, could call in such a complaint.

    "It’s not like I was dragging him or he was screaming — we were having a good time," said Thompson. "We were signing row row row your boat together and we were being silly and having fun."

    Jason Thompson

    "I was frustrated to be profiled like that," he added.

    Since sharing his story on Facebook, he's heard from other parents who've experienced similar issues.

    As for Xavier, he's taking it all in stride.

    "I just said to him last night, when I was pouring him a bowl of popcorn, 'Well, somebody called and thought I wasn’t your daddy,'" said Thompson.

    "He looked at me and said, 'But you are my daddy.' And I said, 'Exactly.'"

    Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

    Contact Lauren Strapagiel at

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