Edmonton police have concluded a driver who called a cyclist a racial slur will not be charged with a hate crime. Inspector Dan Jones told reporters the investigation has wrapped up after multiple interviews.
“The criminal code is very specific on what a hate crime is, and what a crime is.”
“Really when you get right down to it you have to cross that threshold where there’s violence,” Jones said. “It’s inciting violence and it’s that criminal code threshold. When it becomes something like this, anger, name calling, even the word itself isn’t necessarily hate speech or hate crime.”
Bashir Mohamed launched the complaint after he was cycling up to an intersection last week when a man got out of the SUV and used a racial slur.
Mohamed in a Facebook post from Friday morning wrote, “this is frustrating and demonstrates the lack of protection and even recourse afforded to people of colour when called racial slurs, and for cyclists who are unable to trust police to investigate dangerously aggressive drivers.”
The driver has written a letter of apology, which Mohamed said he accepts. “I believe the apology is sincere.”
Bashir is still to meet with Mayor Don Iveson, who spoke out about racism when he met with reporters after several days of vacation. He also said improvements for cyclists are coming. “I think council is ready to make some investments in our downtown.”
A study for a grid, created both by the city’s transportation department and Stantec at the urging of its employees is due to be before city council in September.