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‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Mounties of a diverse and well-populated B.C. city say there looks to be a rise in reports of racially motivated incidents.

In March, Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said the force received seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.”

Three of the acts are under investigation as hate crimes, Ng said Wednesday (April 14).

Racial slurs were hurled at the manager of an Asian-owned café in Steveston on March 31.

Two suspects – a male and female – allegedly assaulted Rocanini Coffee Roasters manager after she asked them to respect social distancing measures put in place by the business.

The man allegedly stood up and poured coffee on the ground. The woman threw a cup of coffee in the worker’s face before uttering racist remarks.

Ng confirmed an arrest was made in the case though no formal charges have been laid.

READ MORE: Vancouver Police report ‘staggering’ increase in Anti-Asian hate crimes

Also this March, a suspect reportedly yelled racial slurs at a South Asian man seated at a bus stop. He then crossed a street to punch him. The suspect of this unprovoked assault has yet to be identified, Ng said.

“I want to reassure the public that any investigation with potential hate-motivated undertones will be given our fullest attention,” the officer-in-charge said.

Many British Columbians of Asian descent feel racism has worsened during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent poll.

More than half – approximately 54 per cent – of residents in Richmond are of Chinese descent, according to the latest government data, the city’s total population is 198,309.

Richmond RCMP is creating a specialized task force, The Diversity Unit, to address the disconcerting trend.

RELATED: B.C. minister says she ‘cannot remain silent’ about increase in anti-Asian hate crimes



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

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Sarah Grochowski

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