Anonymous apology sent to police in racist email case
Police say at least three business owners in Chilliwack received disturbing messages
RCMP in the Fraser Valley are investigating complaints from a third Chilliwack business owner who received hateful emails with racist remarks, and the anonymous apology that followed.
Last week, two restaurant owners called police after receiving disturbing emails in which the sender wrote Chilliwack doesn't "need the folk from India and Surrey to pollute this city," and "there is a deep longing for you to never appear there again."
On Monday, a taxi company contacted police saying they too had received a similar email.
After the first incident, a RCMP investigator wrote to the email address warning the anonymous sender that police were investigating and asked him or her to stop sending the emails immediately.
Police say an apology was received from the account, indicating the sender was sorry.
RCMP Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth said the person claimed in the apology to be having a bad day, and to be suffering from mental health issues when the emails were written.
"We haven't discounted the fact these incidents may be motivated by hate," Hollingsworth said in a written statement.
"We are certainly looking at all aspects of the investigation in order to better determine what the motivation is and will pursue as necessary."
Hollingsworth said her department would like to offer the email sender assistance, if he or she is suffering from mental health issues as indicated in the apology letter; however, police are treating the matter seriously, and have consulted the B.C. Hate Crimes Unit.
Police are asking the email sender to come forward and deal with the situation properly.
"Anonymous apologies don't mean much when they don't hold any weight behind them," Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth added that the victims have received support from many local residents.
"This isn't something that our community wants to be known for and it's certainly not a reflection of what we see in Chilliwack on a regular basis," she said.