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Vancouver Cops
Urge Hate-Crime Charge in Attack

Vancouver Cops
Urge Hate-Crime Charge in Attack

Some Vancouver, Canada, residents are aligning themselves with local police, urging prosecutors to charge a man with assault as a hate crime; the suspect is accused of attacking a gay man.

Some Vancouver, Canada, residents are aligning themselves with local police, urging prosecutors to charge a man with assault as a hate crime; the suspect is accused of attacking a gay man.

Michael Kandola is accused of knocking Jordan Smith unconscious and breaking his jaw in three places. He made his first appearance on Monday in community court, where he was charged with aggravated assault causing bodily harm, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Smith, 27, said he was walking and holding hands with another man when they were approached by a group of four men using gay slurs.

Vancouver police constable Tim Fanning said bystanders reported Kandola, 20, using gay slurs before the attack.

"This is a good opportunity," he told Toronto's Globe and Mail, "a good time to tell any community out there that feels they have been treated this sort of way, that they have been a victim of a hate crime, please call us. Call us right away."

Fanning added, "The facts of the case are that these slurs towards our victims' sexuality were heard by several witnesses and then he was assaulted. We are saying the facts we have before us seem to indicate this would be a good case to look at as a hate crime because of all the circumstances." Under the criminal code, a heavier sentence could be imposed if the crime was motivated by factors like sexual orientation. (Michelle Garcia, The Advocate)

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