Click to view image: 'Jay Phillips pic'
Jay Phillips talks with CBC News about the attack he suffered in Courtenay, B.C., on Friday. (CBC)
Click to view image: 'Courtenay Assault pic'
Jay Phillips fights off three white attackers in a video posted of the incident in Courtenay, B.C. (LiveLeak)
Three men have now been charged with assault in an attack on Vancouver Island that appears to have been racially motivated.
The accused, aged 19 to 25, were arrested after Jay Phillips, 38, was punched and kicked in the parking lot of a Courtenay fast-food restaurant on Friday. The men have been released and are scheduled to appear in court at the end of August
A video of the attack posted on the LiveLeak website had registered more than 43,935 hits by Tuesday. It is not known who shot the video,and was posted by LiveLeaker jdischord.
RCMP Const. Tammy Douglas said there are indications the attack was racially motivated and the Mounties have asked their hate crime team to look into it.
It is, however, being treated as an isolated incident and will not be labelled a hate crime until all the evidence is in.
"We don't believe these people are white supremacists or have those sorts of affiliations," RCMP Insp. Tom Gray told reporters on Tuesday.
In an interview on Tuesday, Phillips told CBC News the attack was not an isolated incident.
He said that he and other minorities in this town are often yelled at and pushed around — and they're tired of it.
People using a particular racial epithet are "calling me a slave," Phillips said.
"I'm nobody's slave. That's a hate crime to me and I want these guys prosecuted to the maximum."
The men's intent was obvious, Phillips said. Beside the racial epithets, they threatened him and his family with violence.
"Get the hell out of town, we're going to come back and lynch you," Phillips recalled the men screaming. "I remember the word 'lynch' quite a bit — 'we're going to lynch you and your whole family.'"
People in the small Vancouver Island coastal community were shocked.
"Oh my God, I can't believe this happened in Courtenay," one resident told CBC News. "I thought it happened in the States."
Phillips suffered cuts and bruised ribs when the trio got him to the ground.
But his background in mixed martial arts made him more than a match for his attackers.
Phillips said he hoped news of the attack would benefit others in the community.
"I don't want this to happen to anybody — anybody," Phillips said.
"There's a lot of native people here, a lot of Asian people here. Nobody should have to go through this."
Most racist, homophobic and sexist acts are not Criminal Code offences. They are instead covered by human rights legislation or harassment policies.
However, a sentencing provision allows a judge to hand out tougher penalties in the case of a crime that's motivated by hate or bias, a Simon Fraser University professor says.
"It's not a separate crime per se, so a person would still be charged with assault or a homicide offence or mischief," said David MacAlister of the school of criminology.
While there's nothing specifically laid out in the Criminal Code that says how much a sentence can be enhanced, hate crimes usually do result in more time, MacAlister said.
"Individuals convicted of assault who were sentenced to provincial time had that sentence elevated to a penitentiary period due to the finding that it was a hate crime," MacAlister said.
However, he added, determining motivation is difficult — even seeing and hearing isn't good enough.
"It would take something more than that," McAlister said. "Exactly what it would require I think is going to vary depending on each individual case."
Earlier Tuesday, B.C. attorneys general past and present weighed in on the debate about how to deal with hate crimes.
"I think maybe we could do more particularly when we have a diverse society," former attorney general Wally Oppal said. "And we have a multicultural society and our incidences of hate crime in many cases are increasing, so those are things that we need to consider. However, the federal government has to take the intiative in that."
Attorney General Mike de Jong wouldn't speak to matters before the courts, but made his position clear on the whole question: "There is no room in our society for hate-motivated anything … anything like that degrades all of us."
Note:This is the original text from the third paragraph,which I took the liberty of editing.
(A video of the attack posted on the YouTube website had registered more than 12,000 hits by Tuesday. It is not known who shot the video and posted it to the website.)
12,000 Hits!Pfffft LL Rules:)
Tags: Coortenay, B.C, Racial, Attack, Hate, Crime,
Location: Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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