Montreal man charged with inciting hatred after anti-Muslim video emerges
Jesse Pelletier, 24, has been charged with uttering threats, inciting hatred and using a fake firearm
Montreal police have charged a 24-year-old man in connection with a video posted on YouTube that shows someone in a Joker mask threatening to kill Muslim people in Quebec.
Jesse Pelletier faces charges of uttering threats, inciting hatred against an identifiable group, making a declaration to incite fear among an identifiable group, and using a fake firearm.
In the video, a man wearing a mask resembling the Joker from Batman comics threatens the death of one Arab per week in the province.
Police arrested Pelletier at an address on Monselet Street in the borough of Montreal North on Tuesday night.
Video meant as 'joke': lawyer
He appeared in court on Wednesday and has a bail hearing scheduled for Monday.
Pelletier's lawyer, Audrey Amzallag, said after the court appearance that Pelletier meant the video as a "joke" and regrets the situation he is now in.
"He did not mean anything in the video," she told reporters. "When he realized the impact ... he took it off and unfortunately it stayed on the internet.
"He is [beside] himself because he's never been in jail. He has a son at home. He has a wife at home. I think it's a situation where he's definitely scared of what's going to happen," Amzallag said.
In court, Amzallag requested that Pelletier be kept in a medical facility until his bail hearing because of a medical condition with his legs.
He appeared in court in a wheelchair on Wednesday.
'Serious legal repercussions'
Interim Quebec Security Minister Pierre Moreau warned that the kind of threats made in the video carry serious legal repercussions.
"This attitude has to be condemned," he said. "Under the Criminal Code, such threats can carry a sentence of five years in prison."
Moreau also said investigating such incidents puts additional pressure on police resources.
"We're diverting our security forces, who have more important things to focus on," he said.