Suspect arrested for yelling racial slurs on Tseshaht First Nations community

Suspect arrested for yelling racial slurs on Tseshaht First Nations community
Nasimuis Ross
One suspect in the truck has been arrested regarding the racist incident on June 2.

A man is now awaiting a court date after being arrested regarding an alleged racist incident in the Tseshaht First Nations community on Tuesday in the Alberni Valley.

On June 2, the Port Alberni RCMP said it received a report of a disturbance at approximately 1:30 a.m., where non-residents in a white pickup truck were driving through the community, throwing debris and yelling racist and derogatory comments at community members.

Witnesses said they could hear the suspects in the truck yelling racial slurs, allegedly saying things like they “hate Indians” and labelling people as “freeloaders”.

The Port Alberni Detachment Frontline and Indigenous Policing Section actively investigated the incident, which has gathered substantial social media and conventional media attention after a video of the encounter was posted online.

One day later on June 3, police were able to track down the suspect seen in videos and arrested him.

In a release on Friday, the RCMP said he was released from custody and will be given a future court date.

This type of behaviour is reprehensible and repulsive, says Sergeant Peter Dionne, operations officer of the Port Alberni RCMP. Luckily no one was hurt physically by this person’s actions, and the witnesses had the wherewithal to record the incident and forward it to the police for the investigation.

Police say the Tseshaht Community and Band management’s public requests for calm and restraint have assisted the investigation and prevented this incident from escalating during this very sensitive time.

“The Port Alberni RCMP Detachment recognizes and respects their generosity of spirit and understanding in their guidance to the community and toward the suspects,” said the detachment in a release on Friday.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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