Two defendants were arrested while driving around Jewish neighbourhoods with knives and uttering threats to Jewish community in May 2021
MONTREAL, QC – December 2, 2022 – The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and Federation CJA were encouraged to learn that one of the two individuals accused of threatening Jewish community members in a Montreal neighbourhood must now stay away from the Jewish community, following a hearing in a Montreal courthouse today. Conditions of the Peace Bond protect the Jewish community both in person and online.
The charges stem from a May 2021 incident in a Jewish neighbourhood in Montreal, which led to two individuals being charged with uttering threats and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. An additional charge of wilful promotion of hatred was levied against one of the individuals, who has yet to go to trial.
“The court sent a clear message today: roaming with knives and yelling racial slurs at Quebecers of Jewish heritage is unacceptable in any setting and perpetrators will face the consequences of acting on hatred,” said Federation CJA CEO Yair Szlak. “This development sends a clear message to those who seek to perpetrate hate that these actions are not welcome in Quebec and that the consequences are real.”
On the evening of May 17, 2021, the two men filmed themselves driving through Jewish neighbourhoods loudly shouting antisemitic slurs and threats to passersby. In one of their videos, they explained they were going to Côte-St-Luc because “that’s where all the Jews are.”
Videos of the incident were posted on social media by the accused before being taken down in the ensuing days.
Federation CJA security was quick to act and coordinate with police who arrived rapidly on the scene and arrested both for uttering threats. Officers found both in possession of knives. The Montreal Police Service’s hate crime unit was tasked with the investigation.
The individual who appeared today in court was initially charged with uttering threats and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. In today’s hearing the individual agreed to a peace bond, which includes conditions prohibiting him from communicating with members of the Jewish community and from referencing the Jewish community on social media, among other conditions.
“This individual posted his intentions online. Today's development shows the importance of ensuring police hate crime units have the resources they need to investigate and pursue incidents of hate and antisemitism,” said CIJA Quebec Vice President Eta Yudin. “With an increase in hate incidents and hate crimes and a worrisome rise in antisemitism, we need to build on this encouraging development by providing more resources to existing hate crimes units. We also encourage further training of all stakeholders of the judicial system involved in the fight against antisemitism and all forms of hate. The conditions of the peace bond protect our community and highlight the importance of tracking online expressions of hate and the need for strong online hate legislation.”
CIJA and Federation CJA will continue to track the case of the second individual who has been charged under three counts – uttering threats, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and willful promotion of hatred – when his trial resumes in February.
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