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Police seek witnesses to hate incident on HSR bus in Hamilton

Hamilton police say they are investigating a hate incident on an HSR bus they believe happened Aug. 1, 2022. Global News

Police are appealing for witnesses in a matter they’re characterizing as a hate incident on a Hamilton bus caught on video.

The video is a ‘first-person’ account shot on a mobile phone by the man apparently verbally hurling the “transphobic and homophobic slurs” towards two unknown people sitting in front of him.

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“What’s your pronoun?” and “why don’t you lose some weight, fat boy…” are some of the milder remarks made by the man in the video.

Investigators say the three minute footage was sent to them through their online reporting tool via “a third party” in another province.

It’s believed the occurrence took taken place on a city bus Aug. 1 prior to a stop in the area of Gage Park at the Lawrence Road entrance, say police.

Read more: Hate crime reports in Canada surged during COVID-19 pandemic: StatCan

The man in the video also made threats towards the individuals upon exiting the bus.

Detectives are asking victims or witnesses to come forward by contacting Hamilton police online or leaving an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers.

The video can be seen in it’s entirety through Hamilton police’s website.

During a board meeting in April, the Hamilton Police Service (HPS) reported a 35-per cent increase in hate incidents through a 2021 year-end study.

The ‘2021 Hate/Bias Statistical Report‘ compiled by the police hate crime unit (HCU) says there were a total of 108 hate/bias incidents last year compared to 80 reported in 2020.

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Chief Frank Bergen characterized the the increase as “disturbing” and said it creates “fear within our community.”

“It impacts a sense of belonging, safety and well-being for those within our community who are targeted by these hate incidents and crimes,” Bergen remarked.

“As a community, we need to do better.”

– with files from Global News’ Saba Aziz

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