Indigenous woman yells ‘I hate white people,’ punches white woman: Not hate crime, judge rules

Indigenous woman yells ‘I hate white people,’ punches white woman: Not hate crime, judge rules

A Calgary indigenous woman who knocked out a Caucasian woman’s tooth while yelling “I hate white people,” didn’t commit a racially motivated crime, a judge says.

Provincial court Judge Harry Van Harten, in a written decision, said Tamara Crowchief’s motivation for striking Lydia White was not related to racial bias.

Crown prosecutor Karuna Ramakrishnan, who had sought a sentence of 12 to 15 months, argued Crowchief’s unprovoked attack last Nov. 1, amounted to a hate crime.

But Van Harten agreed with defence counsel Adriano Iovinelli that there was insufficient evidence to establish Crowchief attacked White because of the colour of her skin.

Van Harten said unlike offenders in several cases cited by Ramakrishnan, there was no suggestion Crowchief was associated with any group that promoted hatred toward a specific race.

“The offender said, ‘I hate white people’ and threw a punch,” Van Harten said in 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,” he said.

“I am not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that this offence was, even in part, motivated by racial bias.”

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