Police in Kelowna, BC, are investigating a racist attack during which a Sikh security guard was verbally assaulted by a protester.
The incident occurred on Tuesday outside of a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.
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Kelowna RCMP says that they initially responded to complaints of protesters impeding access to the clinic.
“Officers attended spoke with staff and dealt with the protestors,” Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy says in an emailed release. “No arrests were made at that time.”
Since then, a short video has been shared widely online, showing one of the protesters verbally abusing a Sikh security guard with racial insults.
The security guard appears to intervene between the protester and another individual, and asks the protester to leave the property.
He’s then berated with a range of insults and is told to “shut up” and “go back to [his] country.”
The suspect tells him on multiple occasions that he’s not Canadian and doesn’t “know Canadian laws.”
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RCMP says that the suspect in the video has been identified and that a full investigation is being conducted.
“We are now investigating this incident through the lens of the willful promotion of hatred under Section 319 of the Criminal Code,” Noseworthy adds.
“Racism has no place in our community, and I want to reassure the public that this matter is being given the full attention of our General Investigative Support Team in consultation with the Provincial Hate Crimes Unit.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident and has not yet spoken to the police is asked to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300.