OPP investigates TikTok video mocking family with references to the London, Ont., attack

·2 min read
OPP are investigating after a TikTok video surfaced and has been shared on social media, in what the mayor of Minto, Ont., describes as 'disturbing' references to the  recent fatal attack on a Muslim family in London. (Twitter - image credit)
OPP are investigating after a TikTok video surfaced and has been shared on social media, in what the mayor of Minto, Ont., describes as 'disturbing' references to the recent fatal attack on a Muslim family in London. (Twitter - image credit)

Ontario Provincial Police are investigating after a TikTok video believed to have been recorded in the town of Minto appears to mock a local family and references the man charged in the fatal attack on a Muslim family in London.

Wellington County OPP Kirk MacDonald told CBC K-W on Friday that police are aware of the video posted online, and is early into the investigation, so couldn't provide any further details at this time.

The video appears to have been shot from inside a home, looking outside the window while a family of three is walking down the street.

In a joint statement, Minto Mayor George Bridge and Kelly Linton, warden of Wellington County, said the video is "abhorrent."

"Islamaphobia and all forms of racism have no place in our community," the statement said.

In the video, while a family walks along the sidewalk, a man is heard saying, "Where's Nathaniel Veltman when you need him?"

As a truck passes, the person says, "Buddy, you missed them. Back up." The video ends with the person laughing.

'It's the abnormal,' mayor says of video

Veltman, 20, was charged Monday with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in a hit and run that left four family members dead and one boy in hospital. London police have said they believe he targeted the family because of their Muslim faith.

"That's pretty disturbing for somebody to have that thought process, and then to put it on a video and send it out there," Bridge told CBC News.

The mayor said the video has been widely condemned on social media and does not reflect the views of most people who live in Minto.

"We don't want this thing to be looked at as the norm. It's the abnormal."

NCCM head cites systemic problems

Mustafa Farooq, CEO of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), said the video "reminds us, yet again, yet again, yet again, there is a serious problem and it needs to be confronted systemically."

Farooq said his organization is working with law enforcement and social media platforms to respond to troubling content posted online.

In recent days, he said, the organization has become aware of "a number of folks who have been celebrating the London attack."

NCCM has also received reports of people being harassed in London in relation to the attack, said Farooq, adding the council has also received emails from people saying the incident was justified.

"It's part of what we've grown to expect," he said, shaking his head.

"The vast majority of Canadians are responding with support, but you have a segment that celebrates this stuff or looks the other way."