Police investigate possible hate motivated crime
We are currently investigating property damage at the Scarboro United Church that is believed to be the result of a hate crime.
Sometime between Friday, March 25, at 9 p.m., and Sunday, March 27, at 9 a.m., it is believed a banner depicting the LGBTQ2S+ Pride flag and a welcoming message from the Scarboro United Church, located at 134 Scarboro Avenue S.W., was damaged by unknown suspects. There appeared to be cuts and burn marks made to the banner, and the word “repent” written across it in black marker.
Investigators circulated the area for information regarding the incident and are asking anyone who may have witnessed suspicious behaviour at the church between March 25 and March 27, to contact police.
“A hate crime is a criminal offence committed against a person or property, which is motivated in whole or part by the suspect’s hate, bias or prejudice towards an identifiable group,” said Sergeant Matt Messenger of the CPS Hate Crime and Extremism Team. “It appears that the damage to the church’s banner and welcoming message to all individuals was motivated towards the LGBTQ2S+ community, and we continue to investigate this incident.”
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.
Images of the damaged banner are available on The City of Calgary Newsroom.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service non-emergency number at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through either of the following methods:
TEXT: P3 App
Case #22121302/ 4757