The Calgary police are investigating an incident where a Calgary man was verbally abused as he was looking at the Pride sidewalk near Central Memorial Park downtown.
Ryan Massel, who calls himself Mr. Fabulous on social media, posted a video on his X (formerly Twitter) feed featuring a man who called Massel “a f-in f-got” who’s “not human.”
“There’s only two genders,” added the man, who walked away briskly as Massel videotaped his rant.
“Today, I was a victim of hate speech in Calgary,” Massel wrote on social media. “I was excited to hear of a Pride Walk that was being painted so went to take a look and the verbal attack ensued.
Massel posted a video of the verbal attack in order to share with viewers what was said, so they could understand just how bad it was.
“The police have reached out,” Massel wrote, “and I will pursue this under the criminal code of Canada.”
HATE CRIME OR HATE INCIDENT?
Constable Matt Messenger of the Calgary Police Service Hate Crime Prevention Unit confirmed that officers have been in charge with Massel and are offering support as the investigation continues.
“I’ve been in constant contact with the victim working with him (to) ensure that yes, supports in place,” Messenger said. “He’s not alone in this. He is aware of the supports that are there and he has got a great support network around them.
“The offender has been identified at this point in time,” he added, “but it is still active investigation.”
In an interview with CTV News, Messenger distinguished between hate-motivated crimes and hate-motivated incidents.
“In Canada, any criminal court offense can be motivated by a hate bias or prejudice,” Messenger said. “So typical. assaults are great examples. An assault can be motivated by a hate or a bias or prejudice, and we use character-identifiable characteristics which are defined in the criminal code, things such as race, religion, gender, sex, language, skin color, disability, those are all characteristics the criminal code defines for us.
“So if a person is targeted, based on a bias, hatred, prejudice or because of one of those characteristics … then the offense committed against him could be motivated by hate.
“Hate incident is basically a non-criminal act,” he added. “(The) typical example we often see is road rage.
“It’s not a criminal offense,” he said, “but (when) somebody cuts somebody off, they get (to) the traffic lights (and) we often see racial slurs or yelling from one driver to the other. That will be hate incidents.
“It’s something that the hate is present without the criminal offense.”
RISE IN INCIDENTS: VICTIMS
Nina Saini, the executive director of the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee, spoke to CTV News about the video of the incident.
“It was really shameful,” Shaini said. “And I think it was … humiliating for the person that was doing it. Even though I know that feeling of humiliation or shame may have been on the other end. So that was like a really painful reality.”
Saini added that her organization had conducted research on such incidents between 2019 and 2022, and found that victims felt “there was a rise in hate crimes and hate-motivated incidences.”
This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available.
With files from Jordan Kanygin
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