A young woman on her way to work was instead assaulted, and police say it was racially motivated.
The woman was in the area of Duckworth and Rose Streets around 6:00 Monday evening, when she was approached by a group of high school-aged kids. She told police one slapped her turban, causing it to unravel. Another is said to have uttered a racial slur towards her.
“Due to limited information, we are unable to identify the individuals,” said Barrie Police spokesman Peter Leon. “But this type of behavior in our community is something that is not tolerated. It is not acceptable by any means whatsoever. And should anybody ever be identified, they will be held accountable for what they’ve done.”
Leon went on to say, should this type of act occur to anyone in Barrie, they should feel free to reach out to police. “Call 911 immediately,” he added. “Your safety is at risk; if you’re fearful, let us know immediately we will have officers attended and certainly work with you to identify the person or persons responsible. We can’t have something like this happening in our community.”
While tensions are running high not only due to the pandemic but also following extensive political and racial divides, Leon says that’s no excuse for behaviour like this. “We are all dealing with what is happening in our society, in our community, and in our world together.”
“This is everyone’s community,” Leon continued. “A lot of people who call Barrie home bring a lot of great culture and tradition to our community as well. Let’s learn from each other.”
As for those responsible, Leon says they could face serious repercussions. “They could certainly be charged criminally. That is a form of assault, what did take place,” he said. “These young individuals need to take a close look in the mirror and recognize what they have done.”