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Trial for man charged in nail-gun shooting at Abercrombie worksite starts Sept. 17

scales of justice
scales of justice
PICTOU, N.S. —

A three-day trial for a man accused of shooting a co-worker with a nail-gun last year starts on Sept. 17.

Shawn Wade Hynes, 44, of Trenton was arrested and charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm on Sept. 27, 2018.

The incident occurred at a construction site at Abercrombie, Pictou County, on Sept. 19, 2018.

As a result of an RCMP investigation, another charge of assault with a weapon was added in March 2019.

The victim, Nhlanhla Dlamini, 22, says that he was struck by a 3 ½ inch framing nail. Dlamini had suffered a collapsed lung which required emergency surgery to repair.

“The doctor said my son could have lost his life,” said Dlamini’s mother, Stacey Dlamini in an interview with The News in 2018.

Nhlanhla Dlamini, has said the incident was intentional and that it came at the end of three weeks of racially-charged harassment directed at him by Hynes.

Dlamini, who is of African descent said that he had been called “Squigger”, and it wasn’t until a friend pointed it out to him that he noticed how close it was to the N word. He also had many pranks pulled on him, including having his coat stapled to a project they were working on.

“I think one of the issues is due to with a culture of unsafe working practices in which pranking was tacitly accepted,” Stacey said in the previous interview.

But she also believes, based on what her son has told her, that the incident was also racially motivated.

“The reality is that Nhlanhla was the only black person on the crew,” she said, adding that although there was another person hired around the same time, her son was the only one picked on.

Angela Bowden speaks to the group gathered outside the Pictou courthouse on Jan. 18, 2019.

Angela Bowden speaks to the group gathered outside the Pictou courthouse on Jan. 18, 2019.

On the day of the incident, Nhlanhla has said that Hynes told him he was moving too slow and pulled back the safety on an air-powered nail- gun before aiming and firing it at him.

The incident has sparked demonstrations in New Glasgow, Halifax and outside the Pictou Courthouse, with people calling for harsher charges in what they say is an example of a hate-crime.

“When racism is this hateful, it rips open old wounds, exposing many victims,” said Angie Bowden of New Glasgow at a Halifax rally that took place on Oct. 19, 2018.

“What we are collectively saying is that we, the black community of Nova Scotia refuse to allow anyone to create another wound in our children to be left unhealed. Our children deserve better, and we demand better.”

Recently, Bowden told The News that the African Nova Scotian community will be watching closely as the trial it unfolds.

“I think it’s going to be really interesting to see how this plays out,” said Bowden. “This case is going to be do or die for Nova Scotia, because it’s going to set some really clear lines in how the justice system continues to value the lives of our black youth.”

With files from Adam MacInnis and Ian Fairclough

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