Halton Police clarify it does not ‘in any way’ support Nazism after Oakville incident

Published July 17, 2020 at 6:50 pm

The Halton Regional Police Service issues several media releases per day, but this one was a first:

The Halton Regional Police Service issues several media releases per day, but this one was a first:

“We regret any hurt caused by misinformation that suggests that the Service in any way supports Nazism”.

Wait. What?

Halton Police were on the defensive Friday (July 17) afternoon after issuing a release back on June 22 saying it was investigating a “hate-motivated incident” at St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Cemetery in Oakville.

At the time, police did not provide further details as to the nature of the crime.

Turns out, someone painted “Nazi war monument” on a stone cenotaph commemorating those who served with the 14th SS Division… under Adolf Hitler.

Also known as the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician), the division was a World War II German military formation made up predominantly of volunteers with a Ukrainian ethnic background.

So, when Halton Police referred to the incident as a potential hate crime, it unwittingly suggested that the group needing protection were Nazis

“The initial information collected by investigators indicated that the graffiti may have been hate-motivated, targeting the identifiable group of Ukrainians in general, or Ukrainian members of this cultural centre,” clarified Halton Police.

“At no time did the Halton Regional Police Service consider that the identifiable group targeted by the graffiti was Nazis.”

Police added that they are continuing to investigate the matter.

Under the Canadian Criminal Code, anyone who publically incites or promotes hatred against an identifiable group by breaching peace is guilty of an indictable offence.

However, no person shall be convicted of an offence if it’s established that the statements communicated were true or in good faith for the purpose of removal.

While the Halton Police Service is unlikely to continue to pursue charges related to a “hate-motivated” crime at St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Cemetery, graffiti is considered vandalism and carries financial penalties under mischief.

(Cover photo: Ukrainian Waffen-SS 14th SS Division ‘Galicia’)

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