Police investigate vandalism of Black Lives Matter mural as possible hate-motivated crime

·1 min read

Police say they are investigating vandalism of a Black Lives Matter mural in Sunnyside as a possible hate-motivated crime.

It's believed someone attempted to cover up the artwork with white paint between Friday and Saturday, Calgary police said in a release on Monday.

The mural is located at containR Art Park, at 1020 Second Ave. N.W., as part of the shipping container mural installations.

"We are looking at the use of white paint, in particular, as a possible indicator of a hate-motivated crime," said Const. Craig Collins, the hate crime co-ordinator for the Calgary Police Service. "It is crucial that we look at every aspect of an act of vandalism and explore all possible intentions and motivations."

Police said if there is sufficient evidence to suggest the vandal was motivated by hate, the case will be designated to a specialized Crown prosecutor.

Hate-motivated crimes are crimes where the offender was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on one of nine personal characteristics of the victim, like gender, race or religion, police said.

The hate motivation is considered onlyonce an offender is found guilty, then it can be considered an aggravating factor to add to the convicted person's sentence.

Anyone with information about the mural vandalism is asked to contact police at 403-266-1234, or to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.