AT approximately 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28, Richmond RCMP front-line officers responded to an altercation outside the Richmond Courthouse, at 7577 Elmbridge Way.
Police encountered a group of demonstrators and media who were at the location to raise awareness to anti-Asian hate incidents in the city.
They had apparently chosen this time and location as there was a court appearance scheduled for two people allegedly involved in a hate incident in a Steveston café in March.
Media coverage of that incident has been significant since then.
Investigators attending the courthouse were told by several demonstrators that a female had exited the courthouse and confronted them, hitting several of them and damaging at least one cell phone in the process.
The suspect, a 44-year old Vancouver woman, was soon located and arrested. She was later released on a promise to appear in Richmond Provincial Court on October 20, and faces possible charges of assault and mischief.
There were no serious injuries reported to police.
“Hate has no place in Richmond, and we support those in our community who are standing up against it,” said Cpl. Ian Henderson.
“But initial media reports alleging that this matter was yet another hate incident may be inaccurate,” he added.
“Initial information suggests the accused had been at the courthouse on a completely unrelated matter, and took offence to being video recorded by demonstrators. Richmond RCMP investigators continue to investigate this matter fully, and we encourage the public to reserve judgement at least until the investigation is complete,” said Henderson.
Anyone who may still have video of the incident which has not yet been forwarded to police is asked to contact the Richmond RCMP directly at 604-278-1212, quoting file number 2021-20408.