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Damage to Louis Riel headstone being investigated as possible hate crime, Winnipeg cops say

Winnipeg police are looking for this man (right), suspected of damaging Louis Riel's headstone. Winnipeg Police Service

Winnipeg police say they’re looking for a man suspected of damaging the headstone of iconic Manitoba Métis leader Louis Riel last month.

Click to play video: 'Métis leader vows to hold Riel gravesite vandal accountable'
Métis leader vows to hold Riel gravesite vandal accountable

Police said Wednesday — the anniversary of Riel’s execution in 1885 — that the Oct. 17 incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

When the headstone, a local landmark at the St. Boniface Cathedral Cemetery, was initially damaged, the Manitoba Métis Federation called it an “insult to all Manitobans.”

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“This deliberate, targeted attack and the complete disrespect shown to Louis Riel as the historic leader of the Red River Métis, the founder of Manitoba and its first premier, is appalling,” said federation president David Chartrand in an Oct. 20 release.

Read more: Winnipeg police investigating after gravesite of Louis Riel defaced

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Police have released a photo of a man who was seen at the site three days before it was vandalized, and said he’s believed to be the person involved in the incident.

Anyone with information can call major crimes investigators at 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

Click to play video: 'St. Boniface Museum: Exploring Louis Riel’s past'
St. Boniface Museum: Exploring Louis Riel’s past

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