Hate crimes targeting non-white minorities and ethnic minorities are not unique to the United States. In Canada, four Muslim family members were killed by a truck driven by a white man.
The local criminal justice authorities, which have always professed strict hate crimes, are actively considering ways to apply not only murder to the perpetrators but also terrorism charges.
According to foreign media, at around 8:40 pm on the 7th (local time) in London, Ontario, Canada, a pickup truck driven by a white man suddenly rushed into the sidewalk and hit passersby. Four people, a 74-year-old woman, a 44-year-old woman, a 46-year-old man and a 15-year-old woman, were killed among the passers-by when the truck struck. The victims’ acquaintances told police that they were all one family. They are grandmother (74), father (46), mother (44), and their parents’ daughter (15), respectively.
Of the five families walking together, only a 9-year-old boy, the son of his parents, survived. Police said the boy was seriously injured and admitted to the hospital, but his life is not in danger.
The investigation revealed that the family were immigrants who moved to Canada from Pakistan 14 years ago. The victims’ acquaintances said they were “Muslims who attend a mosque in downtown London.”
Police believe it to be a planned hate crime. The main evidence is the testimony of eyewitnesses that “a truck on the road suddenly changed direction and rushed into the sidewalk, hit the family, and then fled at high speed.” It means that it was an intentional crime against the Muslim family from the beginning.
The suspect, Nathaniel Beltman, a 20-year-old man, was arrested by police at a shopping center about 6 kilometers from the scene. It is known that he made a statement to the effect that he did not have a relationship with the victims during the investigation. A police official said, “This incident was deliberate, and it is believed that the victims were targeted because they believed in Islam.” “The incident was planned in advance and there is evidence to show that hate was the motive for the crime.”
Police initially charged Beltman with four counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Since it is a hate crime targeting Islam, the police are also considering the application of terrorism charges.
Canada was engulfed in anger, shock and bitterness. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has always been a strong voice against hate crimes, said, “Islamic hatred has no place in the Canadian community.” Ontario’s Prime Minister Doug Ford called for an end to this heinous act of violence. London Mayor Ed Holder paid tribute to the victims of the deaths of three generations.
By Kim Tae-hoon, staff reporter [email protected]
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