Following a spree of racist and homophobic graffiti near downtown St. Catharines, Niagara police have accused two teenage boys of mischief on 13 charges and charged them.
According to the police, the vandalism happened on June 11 at about 10:00 p.m.
According to reports, the two teenagers used racist and homophobic obscenities to deface the monument of Harriet Tubman, the school’s sign, and the school’s walls.
Tubman used the Underground Railroad, a covert system of safe houses and connections, to free himself from slavery and guide scores of people to freedom. Between 1851 to 1861, she resided in St. Catharines. Later, she moved back to the United States and enlisted in the Union Army during the American Civil War, becoming the first woman to command an armed attack.
According to police, vandalism occurred to six vehicles, three residences, a Caribbean restaurant, and two school buses.
The Caribbean Eatery’s owner, Michael Andrade, has expressed his pain to CBC Hamilton over the damage.
According to Niagara police, a 14-year-old kid was taken into custody on August 20, and a 15-year-old boy the following day. 13 charges of mischief under $5,000 are filed against each of them.
Despite not filing charges for hate crimes, the police labeled the occurrences as “hate-related vandalism.”
Const. Phil Gavin explained to CBC Hamilton that the legal requirements for a charge under the hate propaganda sections of the criminal code are “very specific in scope and done in consultation with the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Office” when asked why the teenagers weren’t charged with hate crimes.