No charges in suspected hate crime

Youth who scrawled message in snow outside Red Deer Islamic Centre remorseful

Red Deer Islamic Centre

A youth who left a hateful message scrawled in the snow outside Red Deer Islamic Centre wants to make amends.

RCMP said the youth turned himself in several days after the incident around 7:30 a.m. Feb. 19. What he wrote has not been released but police treated it as a potential hate crime.

“After investigating the incident thoroughly and determining the wishes of the Islamic Centre staff, RCMP are not laying charges in this incident,” says Cpl. Karyn Kay in a statement released on Friday.

Instead, the youth, his family and Red Deer Islamic Centre staff will meet and work through the restorative justice process. The John Howard Society and police will also be involved.

“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 Centre,” says Kay.

“They, in turn, welcome the opportunity to turn this into a learning conversation where mutual understanding can flourish,” she says.

“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.”

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