No Charges Against Man Who Urinated On Komagata Maru Memorial

If You Are White You Can Urinate Anywhere

komagataIf you are white you can get away with almost anything in Canada. This is what Vancouver Police gave evidence of on Tuesday. Police said that the man who urinated on the Komagata Maru memorial in Coal Harbour will not be charged.

Not only did the white man openly urinate on the memorial in broad daylight, he hurled abuses and was also guilty of obscene behaviour and exposing private parts in a public place. But no charges were laid against him.

VPD spokesman Sgt. Randy Fincham said, “In laying a charge, investigators would need to establish that a criminal offence took place, that laying a charge was in the public interest and that there was a substantial likelihood of a conviction. In this case, it was determined that all three criteria had not been established.”

Imagine if a South Asian man would have done the same thing at a prominent place in Vancouver. It is very likely he would have been charged and we would have heard things like “Uncouth people, Uncivilised behaviour.“ There would have been calls to deport that person. But if you are white, you are allowed to do as you please.

By not laying any charges against the white man the VPD has also set into motion a dangerous precedent. This will now encourage other white people to show their open disrespect towards cherished symbols of other communities without fear of any punishment.

Surrey`s Pargan Mattu, witnessed the incident in early December 2013 and passed a photo he took at the time to police.

The memorial is dedicated to the 376 Indian passengers aboard the Komagata Maru, a Japanese ship chartered by a Sikh entrepreneur, who were turned away from Canada under discriminatory laws in May 1914. The ship was anchored in Vancouver for over two months and forced out of Vancouver and back to India on July 23, 1914.

On Thursday the Vancouver police came out with the statement that the man is mentally ill and has apologized for his act.

VPD’s Chief Constable Jim Chu said in a statement. The suspect’s signed apology read: I am sorry for what I did that day at the monument. I didn’t want to hurt anyone.

“The Vancouver Police have always treated this abhorrent act on the Komagata Maru monument as a serious matter. We know the importance of this monument to the community. I was personally honoured to speak at its unveiling,” Chu said.

Sohan Deol, president of the Khalsa Diwan Society, said the local Sikh community was initially very upset about the incident. But they accept the man’s apology and support police.
“Whatever he did, he apologized for,” Deol said. “I think the community … we should accept that the condition of that person.”