Quote# 142251

Yelling ‘I hate white people’ and punching one isn’t a hate crime, Canadian judge rules

Tamara Crowchief may have yelled "I hate white people" as she carried out a violent assault on a white person, but that doesn't mean her attack was racially motivated, a Canadian judge has ruled.

The attack occurred outside a pub in Calgary, Canada, on Nov. 1, according to the Calgary Herald. Crowchief's victim, identified as Lydia White, lost a tooth in the assault, the paper reported.

Prosecutor Karuna Ramakrishnan had tried to put Crowchief behind bars for 12 to 15 months by arguing that the indigenous woman's "unprovoked" actions represented a hate crime, the paper reported. But Judge Harry Van Harten of the provincial court strongly disagreed.

“The offender said, ‘I hate white people’ and threw a punch,” Van Harten told those gathered in the court during his ruling. “There is no evidence either way about what the offender meant or whether . . . she holds or promotes an ideology which would explain why this assault was aimed at this victim. I am not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that this offense was, even in part, motivated by racial bias.”

The Calgary Herald reported that the attack happened suddenly and without warning.

White was standing outside the pub talking to another person when Crowchief walked up and yelled “I hate white people” before punching White in the face, the paper reported. After the assault, Crowchief left the scene, but White followed her and called police.

When authorities arrived and arrested Crowchief, she told them “the white man was out to get her,” the paper reported.

At a recent court hearing, White said she's still baffled by the assault.

“I still get angry when I think about it,” she said. “I don’t understand why this woman did this. I never did anything to her. Never even spoke to her.”

By the time of her sentencing, Crowchief had already spent more than six months in jail, according to the Calgary Herald.

Van Harten agreed with Crowchief's defense attorney, Adriano Iovinelli, that she'd been behind bars long enough.

The judge gave Crowchief 12 months probation "and ordered her to get psychological and psychiatric counselling, as well as counselling for substance abuse," the Herald reported.

Crowchief was also banned from drinking or going to a business that specializes in the sale of alcohol, the paper said.

Tamara Crowchief & Judge Harry Van Harten, The Washington Post 5 Comments [2/2/2019 2:54:52 PM]
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Pharaoh Bastethotep

Even giving the benefit of Hanlon's Razor, that judge should not only be fired, but executed for unforgivable stupidity.

2/2/2019 4:08:27 PM

Citizen Justin

"There is no evidence either way about what the offender meant or whether . . . she holds or promotes an ideology which would explain why this assault was aimed at this victim."

Uh, no. She shouted "I hate white people", which means she hates white people. It doesn't matter what other ideology she holds, if any. As for an explanation of why this assault was aimed at this victim, the accused has already provided that, along with an acknowledgement that it was, indeed, a hate crime.

2/2/2019 5:53:15 PM

K'Zad Bhat

And this, people, is why Neo-Nazis get the traction they do in talking about hate crime laws. It really genuinely is easier to convince judges and juries that anything with just a tiny hint of racial, sexual, or religious overtones is a hate crime if the perpetrator is a white Christian man. It pains me so much to say this, but damn it, it's actually true. And just think, she's in Canada, so she'd be getting off light with a hate crime enhancement to get 12 to 15 months. In the United States, hate crime enhancement can get you at least an additional 5 years for misdemeanors and minor felonies. Not sure how it applies to major felonies, if it's still 5 years or more for higher degree crimes.

2/4/2019 12:41:10 AM

BrassRobo

On the one hand this is clearly a hatecrime. On the other hand I can't fault the judge too much here. 6 months in jail, a year of probation and mandatory counselling will probably do this clearly unwell woman some good.

Assuming this is her first offense, and no one was permanently injured I can see why the judge wouldn't rule it a hate crime. Hate crimes tend to carry minimum sentences, and Canadians tend to prefer more lenient sentences.

2/5/2019 6:31:31 AM

Blair

So 'institutional racism' (I just found out about this term a few days ago) doesn't just mean 'non-white people get worse sentences' but the opposite as well?

2/5/2019 1:50:52 PM

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