Hate crime unit investigating incidents targeting Asian community
2 incidents in city's west end 'possibly related to the COVID-19 pandemic,' police say
Ottawa police say they're investigating two hate-motivated incidents targeting people of Asian descent.
In a news release, the Ottawa Police Service said the occupants of a newer-model grey Hyundai Elantra approached pedestrians of Asian descent and hurled racial slurs and other obscenities at them on at least two occasions.
The incidents took place in the area of Viewmount Drive and Four Seasons Drive in the west end of Ottawa.
"These incidents are possibly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in an increase in acts and displays of prejudice, xenophobia and discrimination that has, in some cases, lead to violence against Asian Canadians," the release said.
Similar acts of racism have taken place in other Canadian cities since the pandemic began.
In Vancouver, police are searching for a suspect accused of a racially motivated attack against a 92-year-old Asian man with dementia that took place in March.
Last week, someone defaced several large windows of a prominent Chinese cultural centre with what Vancouver police called "hateful" graffiti.
Investigators want to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the Ottawa incidents, or who has information about the vehicle and occupants.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Det. Ali Toghrol of the Ottawa Police Service hate crime unit at 613-236-1222, ext. 5453.