Police seek to identify suspect in hate-related crime
Police are asking the public for help in identifying a man believed to be connected to a hate-related assault in downtown Calgary.
At approximately 10:49 a.m., on Friday, June 25, 2021, at the corner of First Street and Eighth Avenue S.W., a man aggressively ran up to a woman grabbing her arm, demanding she give him the coffee she was holding. The victim was startled and as she attempted to get away, the suspect followed her while pushing her and continuing to grab at her left arm. The victim ran toward bystanders in an attempt to create space between herself and the suspect, but the suspect followed her until she discarded the coffee. The man then began to shout profanities and racial slurs at her as he walked westbound on Eighth Avenue S.W. away from the victim.
Investigators have been able to track the movements of the suspect to nearby areas with high-quality CCTV. Further attempts to identify him have proven unsuccessful and we are now asking the public for assistance in both identifying and locating him.
The man is described as approximately 35 years old wearing a black leather jacket, light-coloured T-shirt and dark pants, with short light brown or red hair.
Photos of the suspect are available on The City of Calgary Newsroom.
We know that hate-related incidents have left many Calgarians concerned for their safety, and the wellbeing of fellow community members. While CPS will not tolerate hateful behaviour and will seek to find those who cause harm, it is incumbent on all of us to step in when we see unacceptable behaviour by calling police and offering support to victims. Photos and videos taken by witnesses are valuable assets to police investigations.
Anyone with information about the suspect’s identity or whereabouts is asked to contact us by calling the non-emergency number at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of 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.