Hate crime over Pride weekend – police are looking for witnesses

Pride weekend hate crime - police are looking for witnesses

The victim was attacked after taking part in Pride events last month.

Vancouver police are appealing for witnesses after three men and two women were caught on camera assaulting a man on Commercial Drive on July 31 over Pride weekend.

The attack shortly after midnight was violent and unprovoked, police say. In a press briefing on Saturday, officer Tania Visintin said it was a hate crime.

“We believe the incident was motivated by hate and are asking anyone who recognizes the people in the video to contact our investigators.

— Tania Visintin, Vancouver Police

Video of the assault released Saturday by police shows a 42-year-old man stops at a convenience store at the corner of Commercial Drive and 10th Avenue after taking part in Pride week events.

A brief verbal altercation took place between a man and another person inside the business and when the victim left the store, she was attacked by three [other] men, specifies the agent.

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A drink was first thrown at him by a woman before the three men punched and kicked the victim several times. Two women, including the one who threw the drink, observe the attack a few meters away.

According to the police, the attackers made threats with homophobic content to the victim, which solidifies the thesis of the hate crime in the eyes of the authorities.

Vancouver police officer Tania Visintin says there are several things that help convince authorities that this is a hate crime. These include the Pride weekend and the homophobic threats heard by some witnesses.

After the attack, the men and women, who appear to be in their twenties , according to the police, left the scene together, leaving the injured victim on the side of the street.

The victim was not in mortal danger as a result of the events, but the police emphasize the psychological impact of such a heinous attack .

Investigators have not yet identified the people in the video. This is why members of the public are urged to contact the police if they recognize them.

The video shows several people passing by the scene, including a cyclist, so if you are that cyclist […], call our investigators, says Tania Visintin.

News of the hateful nature of the attack sends shock waves through members of the LGBTQ+ community. It is very worrying. It scares me to think that someone was attacked during the event [de la Pride], notes Jackie, who frequents Davie Street, considered the gay village of Vancouver.

Batty Binks is sorry to see this type of aggression occurring on Commercial Drive.

Batty Binks sees this as an opportunity to bring the community together and oppose this violence. “I'm shocked this is even happening on Commercial Drive!” “, he advances.

“We knew about queer people getting attacked, but it's weird to see this coming back so prominently in 2022.”

— LBTQ+ Community Member Batty Binks

With information from Adjata Camara

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