A racially motivated hate crime against a Sikh man took place at the Westgate Shopping Centre this past Friday.
The suspects were identified as two white males who wanted to cut the man’s beard and air.
(Ottawa)—The Ottawa Police Service Robbery Unit is investigating a weekend swarming that would appear to have racial overtones.
On March 23, 2018, at approximately 11: 25pm, the male victim had left his place of employment near the Westgate Mall, and was waiting for a bus at Carling/Merivale.
The victim was approached by two suspects, who asked the victim about his ethnicity, and about cutting his beard and hair. The two suspects left but then returned and asked for change. The suspects started to make racial slurs, and one suspect produced al knife. The victim ran to a nearby business but could not gain entry through the locked doors. The victim was assaulted by the two suspects, dragged on the ground, and threatened. The victim sustained minor injuries, and was treated at the scene by paramedics. The suspects removed and stole the victim’s turban, as well as his phone and bus pass.
The two suspects are described as follows:
#1: Caucasian male, in his 20’s, approximately 5’10” (178 cm), clean shaven, short blonde/brown hair. He was wearing a orange type sweatshirt, blue jeans, and runners.
#2: Caucasian male, in his 20’s, approximately 5’6” (168 cm), clean shaven. He was wearing blue track pants or PJ’s
Part of the investigation that will be taking place will be to ascertain if this was a hate-motivated crime.
Anyone with information regarding this robbery, or any other robbery, is asked to call the Ottawa Police’s Robbery Unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5116. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or by downloading the Ottawa Police app.
The incident occurred after a month long defamation against the Sikh community by the Canadian Press.
Sikhs on Twitter responded:
Spotted today in Brampton – again, all Sikhs condemn the Air India bombing.
Sadly, what this graffiti reflects is how poor reporting, lacking context and nuance, has led to the entire Sikh community being tainted by this horrific tragedy of 33 years ago. pic.twitter.com/FvZSSfEteV
— World Sikh Org (@WorldSikhOrg) March 27, 2018
Supriya Dwivedi: 'Incumbent upon media to explain successive Indian govts have a history for interfering in the Sikh diaspora. It would be good for Canadian media to provide some context so Canadians are not just taking in info without any historical bkgrd whatsoever.'#cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/SZOIKkZDpM
— Mike Gibbs 🏳️🌈 (@Mikeggibbs) March 27, 2018
Not an isolated incident. One of our volunteers was aggressively called a "Khalistani" today while at the Dupont subway station in #Toronto. Thankfully security stepped in before the situation could escalate. #cdnpolihttps://t.co/J6CiwbiIo8
— The SYF (@ExperienceSikhi) March 27, 2018
This is what minorities fear.
A month of media equating Sikhs w/ terrorism despite evidence to the contrary is irresponsible & dangerous.
It emboldens racists & allows them to legitimize the hate they harbour.https://t.co/CR95XAfIYZ
— Amneet Singh (@amneetbali) March 27, 2018
Not at all surprised by the news of an attack by young white males on a Sikh man with a turban: https://t.co/TT4s2llr0e
When Harper’s CPC stoked fear of Muslims via the niqab issue in 2015, at least 8 Muslim women were attacked during the course of the campaign. 1/
— Sandy Garossino (@Garossino) March 27, 2018
S/Sgt. Michael Haarbosch
Robbery/Break & Enter Units
Tel: 613-236-1222, ext. 5445
Anyone with information is asked to call the Ottawa police’s robbery unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5116. Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).