Hamilton

Burlington men charged with 'willfully promoting hate' after anti-Semitic incidents

Police have charged two men from Burlington, Ont., with wilfully promoting hate months after racist and anti-Semitic propaganda was posted around the city.

Both men were arrested and charged with 2 counts each of 'willfully promoting hate'

Police have arrested and charged two suspects, who they believe are linked hate crime incidents around Burlington. (Halton Regional Police Service)

Police have charged two men from Burlington, Ont., with wilfully promoting hate months after racist and anti-Semitic propaganda was posted around the city.

Halton regional police say that in late May, someone found a note with a racist message on their vehicle. They say a few days later, an anti-Semitic poster was placed on a traffic post.

A few days after that, "hate propaganda" was left on vehicles that were parked in a church's parking lot and anti-Semitic messages and imagery were left on the front doors of the Art Gallery of Burlington and city hall. 

Police say two men, Matthew Wasikiewicz, 21, of Burlington and Kyle Kroeplin, 22, of Burlington, were arrested Friday morning and charged with two counts each of wilfully promoting hate.

Police say their criminal investigations bureau conducted an investigation between June and August. 

"There is no place in any community for hate. Perpetrators of crimes in Halton Region that target others because of their skin colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or any other factor will be rigorously pursued and brought to justice. Everyone in our community has the right to live, work and play in an environment free from fear," says Chief Stephen Tanner in a release. 

Police say they are still investigating the remaining other hate crimes and say additional charges are pending. 

Both men are due in court later this month.

with files from CBC News

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