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Police investigate COVID-19 threats to Chinese restaurant, Indigenous people


CALGARY — Police in Calgary are looking into alleged threats connected to COVID-19.

Police say a Chinese restaurant received an anonymous threat on March 14 that is believed to have been motivated by the outbreak.

The novel coronavirus pandemic originated in China a few months ago and has spread around the globe.

Officers say an Indigenous social media group also received a comment from a person about intentionally spreading the virus to Indigenous people.

The post was reported to police by elders on March 22, and officers investigated with help from the Tsuut'ina Nation and Blood Tribe police.

As a result, police have charged a man with uttering threats. His name has not been released.

"This is a time when we should all be coming together to encourage one another and keep everyone safe," Calgary police hate crimes co-ordinator Const. Craig Collins said Wednesday.

"It is unacceptable that some members of our community are weaponizing this pandemic to make others feel even more vulnerable than everyone already does. We won't ignore it."

Collins told reporters that he recently become aware of other threats that will also be investigated. He did not give details.

He's not surprised by the behaviour, he added, given that police in Europe and the United States have seen a rise in similar offences.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2020


The Canadian Press

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