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Vandalism of Black Lives Matter mural investigated as hate crime by Calgary police

Click to play video: 'Calgary Black Lives Matter art vandalized'
Calgary Black Lives Matter art vandalized
Art depicting Black Lives Matter was vandalized recently in northwest Calgary. As Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports, members of the group say it shows how much work needs to be done to combat racism in Alberta. – Nov 7, 2020

Investigators from the Calgary Police Service’s hate crimes unit are investigating the vandalism of a Black Lives Matter mural in the community of Sunnyside.

Detectives believe the mural was targeted between Friday and Saturday, when it’s believed vandals “used white paint in an attempt to cover up the BLM artwork.”

“We are looking at the use of white paint in particular as a possible indicator of a hate-motivated crime,” hate crimes coordinator Const. Craig Collins said in a news release.

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“It is crucial that we look at every aspect of an act of vandalism and explore all possible intentions and motivations.”

The artwork was painted as part of the containR Art Park on 2 Avenue N.W., and has been targeted once before.

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Investigators have yet to identify any suspects and no descriptions are available.

“If there is sufficient evidence to suggest a hate bias, the case will proceed as a hate crime file and be designated to a Specialized Crime Crown Prosecutor,” police said.

Click to play video: 'Community leaders ‘disappointed’ by new Black Lives Matter mural in Calgary'
Community leaders ‘disappointed’ by new Black Lives Matter mural in Calgary

If hate is determined to be a motivating factor for the vandalism by a judge, that can be added as an aggravating factor in the convicted person’s sentencing, police said.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call Calgary police at 403-266-1234 or to contact Crime Stoppers.

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