Editor’s note: We used the Calgary police blurred Calgary police photo at the top of the story to avoid readers being offended by the image without a warning. We do warn that the full images are shown in a tweet of the scene below.
Calgary police are investigating southwest Calgary road graffiti as a hate-motivated crime.
According to police, between 9 p.m. Oct. 24 and 7 a.m. Oct. 25, two phrases were painted on the roads outside the Sikh Society Gurdwara temple located at 739 – 81 Street SW, with arrows pointing towards the building.
The two phrases were painted on 81 Street and Old Banff Coach Road SW, near the temple.
“It is unacceptable that anyone in our community feels OK making such derogatory statements about their neighbours, even more so when they went out of their way to make sure that the people they targeted would see it,” said Sergeant Gareth Joels from the Calgary Police Service Hate Crimes and Extremism Unit.
“No one should have to read messages like this on their way to worship or anywhere else in our city.”
Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek said it’s hard to tell what motivates racist attacks like these in the city.
“It’s disappointing to see action like this happen in our city,” Gondek told reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
She said if you take a look at the council that was elected, it makes her sure that Calgary is moving towards being anti-racist. Gondek said seeing this happen was a disappointment.
“I am a child of Sikh parents. I know what it was like for my dad, for a while, because he wore a turban,” she said.
“To see the kind of things still happening all those years later is disappointing.”
The Calgary police are asking anyone with information on the incident to contact them at 403-266-1234.
“Graffiti that targets a particular racial or religious community has far-reaching effects in the community as it makes everyone who sees it question their sense of safety and belonging in our city,” said Joels.