New Brunswick

RCMP say Moncton man faces assault, inciting hate charges

RCMP say charges of assault and inciting hate are pending against a 47-year-old Moncton man related to racist slurs shouted from a downtown apartment building at a march in support of Black Lives Matter on Monday.

47-year-old set to appear in court at a later date

RCMP vehicles at the intersection of Gordon and Weldon St. on Monday where a 47-year-old man was arrested and faces charges of assault and inciting hate. (Submitted/Wade Perry)

Police say charges of assault and inciting hatred are pending against a 47-year-old Moncton man who allegedly yelled racist slurs and threw objects from an apartment building Monday as a Black Lives Matter march passed on the street below. 

Codiac Regional RCMP Staff Sgt. Patricia Levesque said police were called about a resident along the march route allegedly shouting racist slurs and throwing objects from a balcony. 

The march began in Victoria Park and moved down Weldon Street en route to city hall. 

Debby Warren is executive director of Ensemble, which operates from an office on the opposite corner of the apartment building. Warren and other Ensemble staff went outside to watch and cheer on the march. 

"We had this large group of primarily young people walking in support of Black Lives Matter being quite upbeat, being respectful, being orderly," Warren said in an interview Tuesday. 

"And then there was this gentleman."

Debby Warren, left, watches the march go by from the Ensemble office on Weldon Street. (Radio-Canada)

She could see him as he yelled profanities and racial slurs. Warren said they saw eggs hitting the pavement and people marching looking in the direction they came from. 

"He fingered us and called us N-lovers and that type of thing," Warren said. "People were just quite disgusted by it all." 

But she said marchers were cheering loudly and car horns were honking, partly drowning out the shouting. 

Warren said it was encouraging that people weren't putting up with it and that police acted quickly once alerted. 

The man police arrested and released is expected to appear in court sometime in the future. 

Charges have yet to be formally laid in court, so police are not releasing the man's name. 

Levesque wasn't able to say what objects the person facing the charges is accused of throwing at those marching. She said the investigation is continuing. 

The march ended at Moncton City Hall, where more than 350 people gathered to hear organizers speak and chant slogans like 'Black lives matter' and 'No justice, no peace.' (Guy LeBlanc/Radio-Canada)

More than 350 people marched through the city Monday afternoon, shouting slogans like 'Black lives matter' and 'No justice, no peace.'

Participants knelt in Victoria Park for two minutes of silence to pay respect to George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis who died last week after pleading for air as a police officer pressed a knee into his neck.

"The demonstration yesterday was absolutely peaceful," Levesque said.

"It rolled out very nicely and no other issues occurred other than this one in particular that we're aware of."

Levesque said the pending charge of inciting hatred "is not one we see very often in this area, which is a very good thing."

The charge is an indictable offence and those convicted can face up to two years in jail.