Rideau-Rockcliffe Coun. Rawlson King meets with Dr. Xaviere Kuate on May 6, two days after Kuate’s garage door was defaced with racist graffiti.
Julie Oliver / Postmedia
Hate crimes and incidents of racism go unreported if their victims don’t have confidence in the police, which can lead to even more serious incidents, warns the Ottawa police Community Equity Council.The council, created last October, has made how Ottawa police respond to a hate crimes a priority after the service said this week that it no longer has a dedicated hate crimes unit. Instead, hate crimes are tracked by the police Security and Intelligence unit.“Individual incidents, when left unchecked and reported are often a precursor to other criminal acts or more serious acts and reduce the overall sense of safety in our communities,” the Community Equity Council said in a statement sent to media Friday night.The confusion about how Ottawa police handle such calls comes after a black family had racist graffiti painted on the garage of the Merganser Street home where they’ve lived for 16 years. Dr. Xaviere Kuate was wakened by neighbours on May 4 who alerted her that someone had written “N—–s, out!” in black spray paint on the door.Kuate called police the next morning. An officer came to see her, but the case was closed for lack of evidence.The family and this newspaper were deluged with calls and emails of support and offers to help repaint the garage after the story appeared.The incident and others like have started “an important conversation,” the council said in its statement.“We will be working with the OPS on enhanced community engagement around the issues of hate incidents; the OPS’s shared responsibility, as part of a bigger community responsibility, to the increase in systemic racism, xenophobia and proliferation of hate,” the statement said. “This is also an opportunity to build on and establish new relationships with communities that do not have confidence in the OPS to respond to similar incidents of hate.”The council and its 15-member board invited the communities such as Indigenous, racialized or faith-based groups that want to discuss their relationship with police to contact the Ottawa police Diversity and Race Relations Section at email@example.com@postmedia.comTwitter: @GetBAC ALSO IN THE NEWS:Provincial cuts a ‘body slam against science’ in CanadaFive Things to know about the Ottawa L5 test facilityIt’s opening day for Ottawa’s self-driving car test-track