Manitoba

Winnipeg police release video of suspect in racist graffiti incident

Winnipeg police are asking for help finding a man they believe vandalized several businesses along Pembina Highway with hateful graffiti that included swastikas last week.

Police say man spray-painted church, businesses along Pembina with graffiti, including swastikas, last week

Winnipeg police released these still images from surveillance video that they say shows the man suspected of spray-painting racist graffiti on several businesses in the city's south end. (Submitted by the Winnipeg Police Service)

Winnipeg police are asking for help finding a man they believe vandalized several businesses along Pembina Highway with hateful graffiti that included swastikas. 

Police say the man vandalized a church and several businesses on Pembina, between McGillivray Boulevard and Killarney Avenue, in the early morning hours of July 21. 

The businesses included a gift shop, a café and a hair salon. 

The matter is being investigated as a hate crime by the major crimes unit of the Winnipeg Police Service, a Thursday news release said.

Police have released a video of a man who appears to be in his 20s or 30s. In the video, he is wearing lime green shorts, a plaid shirt, and a red and white baseball cap, and is carrying a black gym bag. 

WATCH | Video from Winnipeg Police Service shows suspect in vandalism:

The businesses that were vandalized appear to have been chosen at random, but police spokesperson Const. Rob Carver said officers are investigating it as a hate crime due to the use of swastikas. 

"When you've got 10 businesses along a major thoroughfare that are all tagged with with a swastika, that certainly crosses a threshold where we need to look at it as someone trying to send a hate message," he said. 

Whether or not someone ends up being charged with a hate crime is yet to be determined, as the law around what defines a hate crime is fairly specific, he said. 

But Carver said police felt they had to investigate whether that was an element, adding that detectives with specialized training on hate crimes are looking into the vandalism. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the major crimes unit at 204-986-6219. You can also leave a tip anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 204-786-8477.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story indicated the vandalism happened on July 22. In fact, it was on July 21.
    Jul 29, 2021 2:39 PM CT

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