Ottawa Police investigate anti-black graffiti

Spray-painted slurs in east and south ends are being treated as unrelated


Ottawa police are investigating three cases of vandalism involving anti-black hate messages. (Jean-Sebastien Marier/Radio-Canada)

Ottawa police are asking the public for information after three incidents of hate graffiti in the last week.

Supt. Chris Renwick said two of the incidents happened at night and were reported to police Monday. 

Police are treating them as separate and unrelated incidents for now, though they did share common messages, Renwick said.

“It’s definitely anti-black hate messaging, obviously it’s a hate motivated-crime,” Renwick said.

“The hate motivation behind this raises concern, frustration and sometimes fear in the community.”


Supt. Chris Renwick said police understand the incidents may provoke fear and frustration in the community, especially among those targeted by the messages. (Stu Mills/CBC)

He said messages, including the N-word, were spray-painted on a path near Blohme Drive in the south end.

Others were spray-painted on a public building on Bearbrook Road in Blackburn Hamlet. 

3rd incident in south end

Renwick said police received a report of another case of vandalism on May 21 on a commercial building near Hunt Club Road and Bank Street.

He said police have not increased patrols specifically related to these of incidents.

“We have a public building, we have it on a sidewalk and we have it on a commercial area where people can see it. That’s why it’s placed there. This could happen anywhere,” he said.

Renwick said he would not provide more information on the specific locations to avoid revictimizing people. He said investigators have been assigned to each case.

Hate crime response under review

César Ndéma-Moussa, president of the anti-racism sub-committee of the Community Equity Council, said the incidents are part of an unfortunate trend.

“I am unfortunately not surprised for a very simple reason: there has been a hike in hate crimes that have been reported,” Ndéma-Moussa said.

Earlier this month, a family found anti-black graffiti on their garage and called for Ottawa police to do more to combat hate crimes.

Interim Chief Steve Bell said Ottawa police are working to improve how they handle hate crimes and hate-related incidents after recent reports revealed the hate crime unit was folded into the criminal intelligence section.

“We know can improve our approach. We have a solid investigative approach, but if the community doesn’t understand it or believe in it, we have work to do,” Bell told the Ottawa Police Services Board Monday evening.

Bell said they will focus on intelligence, investigations and community outreach.

Deputy Chief Uday Jaswal is in charge of a review of how hate crime cases are handled.

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1 comment

  1. floyd Hutchinson June 19, 2019 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    Ottawa Police Services 5th Annual Diversity Celebration

    (Ottawa)– The Ottawa Police Services is pleased to advise that their annual diversity celebration will have a special meaning this year as it coincides with the Canadian Multiculturalism day.

    As in years past, these celebrations include much music, food, and entertainment which is generously donated by our communities. At this event, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, will also swear-in 25 individuals from around the world as Canadian Citizens

    Founded in 2002 by then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Multiculturalism Day was designated as an opportunity to reflect on both the contributions of Canada’s various cultural communities and the values that we all share: freedom, democracy, individual rights and the rule of law. The Canadian government has since designated June 27 of each year as Canadian Multiculturalism Day.

    The Diversity Celebration will not go of course without acknowledging the National Indigenous Peoples Day that is taking place the week before the event on June 21st. This particular day recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis Indigenous peoples in Canada.

    Members, their friends and families, along with media and community members are invited to attend this event.

    Canada gives thanks to our Indigenous Peoples for the foundation to which we continue to grow. Thanks to multiculturalism programs, Canadians are encouraged to embrace our shared values, history and institutions in order to build a strong, integrated society.

    Please feel free to drop by to sample culturally ethnic treats, enjoy the atmosphere and welcome Canada’s newest citizens.

    Event: 5th Annual Diversity Celebration
    Date: Thursday June 27st, 2019
    Time: 1600 to 1800 hours
    Place: 110 Laurier Avenue West, Jean Pigott Place, Ottawa City Hall

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