Hate crime investigations lead to charges
We have heard from several different cultural and racialized communities in Calgary over the past few weeks that a number of alleged hate-motivated incidents have left people concerned for their safety and the wellbeing of fellow community members. Every Calgarian has the right to feel safe in our city. Those who seek to cause harm and demonstrate hateful behaviour will not be tolerated and will be held accountable for their actions.
Over the past few weeks, several investigations into alleged hate-motivated incidents have occurred and charges have been laid.
On Thursday, May 27, 2021, a brave victim joined us in a press conference to share her experience and the lasting impact being racially targeted has had. If you have not yet watched her statement, we encourage you to go to our social media channels or You Tube. We have not yet identified the man who spat on the victim and called her a racial slur. This case remains under investigation.
Earlier that same day, we issued a media release about a man charged in a road-rage incident that led to hate-motivated offences. We continue to investigate this incident.
On Sunday, May 30, 2021, we became aware that a woman and her son were on the Center Street LRT platform when they were approached by an unknown man. The man pushed the son and began to follow the mother until she received assistance from a bystander. The victims felt they were racially targeted.
As officers worked to find the suspect, a man matching the suspect description was taken into custody later that day on an unrelated matter. The subsequent investigation found that the same man is believed to be responsible for the earlier assault and that he may also be responsible for at least four other incidents over May 30 and 31, against people believed to be targeted due to race or religion. Four incidents were reported to police while several others were observed in the evidence gathered on CCTV.
On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, Carter Justin MACDONALD, 31, was arrested and charged with two counts of assault, one count of causing a disturbance in public and breach of a probation order. He will next appear in court on Thursday, June 9, 2021.
Although none of these cases are connected, the one thing that binds them is the lasting impact these attacks have on the victims, their families and their communities. It is incumbent upon all of us to step in when we see unacceptable behaviour by calling police and offering support to victims. Witness information and photos are assets in any investigation.
We also rely on your help to identify suspects from CCTV photos. After following a number of investigative leads over the past month, we are now asking for your help to identify a person believed to be responsible for a potential hate-motivated assault against an Asian woman.
On Friday, May 7, 2021, at approximately 8 p.m., a man and a woman were walking along the George C. King bridge near the Bow River pathway when a group of five teens riding bicycles rode past them. While passing the couple, one of the youths allegedly threw a frozen water bottle at the couple striking the woman in the head.
The couple were able to flag down members of the Calgary Police Service Mountain Bike Unit shortly after the incident for help, but the group of teens had fled prior to police arrival.
Upon speaking with the officers, the couple explained that the incident was unprovoked and was believed to have occurred due to the woman’s race.
An image of the male youth believed to be responsible for throwing the frozen water bottle is available on The City of Calgary Newsroom. There are no additional suspect descriptions available at this time.
We are looking to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who may have information about those believed to be involved. Anyone with information is encouraged to call police at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers anonymously through the following methods:
APP: P3 Tips
Background information on hate-motivated criminal investigations
Hate-motivated crimes are recognizable crimes, like assault, theft, vandalism or any other crime, where the offender was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate that is based on one of nine personal characteristics of the victim.
Any evidence of a hate motivation is considered by the courts after a person is found guilty of the connected crime. If the judge decides during sentencing that hate was a motivation for the offence, it is an aggravating factor that can add to the convicted person’s sentence.
We are encouraged by the fact that more people are coming forward to report incidents where they believe they’ve been targeted based on one of nine protected personal characteristics. The characteristics include race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression, or on any other similar factor.
Hate-motivated crimes are initially investigated by our front-line officers who then send their investigation to the Hate Crimes Coordinator within our Hate & Extremism Team for review.
The Hate Crimes Coordinator typically supports and advises the initial investigator to make sure the appropriate evidence is collected and the appropriate charges are laid. However, he also does take over complex and serious investigations – including any allegations of hate speech.Once charges are laid, the case is sent to a specialized Crown prosecutor to ensure that any evidence of a hate motivation is properly pursued in court.