Apology offered for alleged racist comments

A man who allegedly hurled racial slurs at two women of Chinese descent at Garry Point Park last Friday has apologized and the complainant, who originally called the police, doesn’t want to pursue the issue through the courts.

The man wrote a letter to apologize to the community of Richmond and wanted the police to communicate it on his behalf.

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“I want to make this right between our two cultures,” the letter of apology reads, according to Supt. Will Ng, officer in charge of the Richmond RCMP. The man is First Nations, Ng explained at a press conference on Friday afternoon.

The complainant, Clara Kan, has not made a written statement to the police and, while she has met several times with police, she has indicated she doesn’t want to pursue the matter and accepted the apology.

A description of the incident was posted on social media, with claims that the police didn’t take the incident seriously and an attending officer told them that, because the license plate wasn’t from Richmond, it wouldn’t be investigated in Richmond.

Ng refuted these claims already on Monday during the Richmond COVID-19 Community Task Force.

At Friday's news conference, Cpl. Adriana Peralta, spokesperson for the Richmond RCMP, clarified the officer was gathering evidence, for example, looking for witnesses and checking for video surveillance.

They continued to collect evidence even though Kan said she didn’t want to pursue the matter.

Peralta said, when pressed at the news briefing, she wouldn’t speculate on whether charges could be recommended if the RCMP chose to do so without the complainant’s statement and wishes to do so.

Ng said the RCMP could have let the public know earlier that they were taking the incident seriously, and that they take all such incidents seriously.

“Racism has no place in our community,” Ng said. “I want to reassure the public that any investigation with potential hate-motivated undertones will be given our full attention and oversight.”

The apology letter from the man reads:

“I’m asking you and your community for forgiveness for the verbal abuse on May 8, 2020. I want to make this right between our two cultures [his being First Nations]. Hate breeds hate, and during these times we need to be more loving and understanding. In closing, I humbly ask you and your culture for forgiveness and to give me another chance.”

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