A young man turned himself in to police several days after a suspect was caught on camera writing a hate message in the snow outside the Red Deer Islamic Center.
“The youth has expressed sincere remorse for hurting others through thoughtless statements that were made on impulse, and has expressed a desire to reach out to members of the Islamic Center,” Red Deer RCMP Cpl. Karyn Kay said. “They, in turn, welcome the opportunity to turn this into a learning conversation where mutual understanding can flourish.”
Mounties were called to the centre on Sunday, Feb. 19 at about 7:30 a.m.
They said an individual approached the stairs to the centre and “wrote a hateful message in the snow, signing it ‘E.K.’”
While the building itself was not damaged, RCMP said “public incitement of hatred is defined as everyone who, by communicating statements, promotes hatred against any identifiable group.” Therefore, the RCMP were treating the incident as a hate crime.
Several days after police released a photo of the suspect, a youth turned himself in.
Red Deer RCMP are working with the youth, his family and the Red Deer Islamic Center “to resolve the incident through restorative justice means, which includes a meeting between the youth and staff at the Islamic Center,” RCMP said in a news release.
Islamic Center staff did not want charges to be laid.
“In our view, the best outcome for this file is to develop a positive change in understanding and in behaviour through relationships and education rather than pursuing a criminal charge,” Kay said.