Two Burlington men charged with ‘willfully promoting hate’ in connection with racist messages

Halton Police have charged two Burlington men with "willfully promoting hate" in connection with anti-Semitic messages left at Burlington City Hall and the Burlington Art Gallery in June. Halton Regional Police Service

Halton Police have charged two men in connection with two cases of anti-Semitic graffiti in Burlington over the summer.

Police say there have been six incidents of hate-motivated messages being left in various parts of the city since May.

The first one happened on May 21 when police say a “hate-motivated racist message” was left on a car near Dundas Street and Guelph Line.

Two days later, an anti-Semitic poster was found on a traffic post, although police haven’t said where that happened. It was followed by “hate propaganda” being placed on vehicles in the parking lot of a church near Mainway and Walkers Line on May 26, police say.

On May 30, police say they received a call that an anti-Semitic message had been written in marker on their vehicle.

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READ MORE: Police looking for suspects after 6 hate crimes, some anti-Semitic, reported in Burlington

The next two incidents happened between June 1 and June 2, when anti-Semitic messages were left on the front doors of Burlington City Hall and the front doors of the Burlington Art Gallery, police say.

In those two cases, police were able to obtain surveillance footage of two suspects, and one of them was arrested in late June.

READ MORE: Police arrest suspect after series of ‘hate-motivated images’ reported in Burlington

In September, Halton Police received approval from the attorney general’s office to charge both suspects with “willfully promoting hate” in connection with the city hall and art gallery incidents.

Kyle Kroeplin, 22, and Matthew Wasikiewicz, 21, both of Burlington, were arrested on Oct. 4.

Both have been released on a promise to appear in a Milton courtroom on Oct. 30.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward posted on Twitter after police announced the arrests, saying “there is no place for hatred and discrimination” in Burlington.

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Halton Police are still investigating the other four incidents and are asking anyone with information to contact investigator Detective Jared McLeod at 905-825-4777 ext. 2385 or ext. 2316 or anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

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