The Calgary Police Service is investigating three crimes that were potentially hate-motivated, according to a release.
CPS states that all three alleged crimes targeted members of Calgary’s LGBTQ2S+ community, and took place over the recent long weekend.
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A man was reportedly assaulted by a group of men at 17th Avenue and 12th Street midday on Friday. The release states that the group called him homophobic slurs before fleeing.
The following day saw a Drag King being spat on by a man who had been walking past the Rainbow Crosswalk at Centre Street and Stephen Avenue Mall SW.
Police also reported a same-sex couple being assaulted on Monday, August 3, by two men on scooters due to their sexual orientation. The release states that a “belt, rocks, and a recycling bin were used as weapons,” before the group, which also included two women on scooters, fled.
“It is shocking to see anyone targeted for a crime because of a personal characteristic, but it is extremely disturbing to see the same community targeted three times in one weekend,” said Sergeant Arlene Padnivelan, with the Calgary Police Service Diversity Resource Team, in the release.
“It is unacceptable that this is happening and we will absolutely investigate anytime a crime is motivated by hate or bias.”
The two male suspects in the Monday incident have been described in the release as being about 30 years old, average height, with black beards and short black hair. One had been wearing a white polo shirt, black glasses, brown loafers, dark pants, and white socks, while the other was wearing grey pants, a grey polo shirt with white collar and sleeves, and white runners.
Anyone with information on any of these incidences, or who has been the victim of a hate-motivated crime, is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service’s non-emergency number at 403-266-1234.
Tips can also be left anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-266-8477 or through their website.
“We fully recognize that sometimes people do not want to involve the police or don’t feel comfortable coming to us for help,” said Padnivelan.
“We respect the wishes of those who are most affected by the incident and never force a victim to participate in a police investigation. However, if there is a way we can help make a person feel safe enough to come forward, we want to try to do that.”
The release also noted that crimes can carry harsher sentences if a judge decides that hate was a motivation for the offence.