Alberta Provincial court Judge Harry Van Harten ruled that Calgary indigenous woman did not commit a hate crime when she knocked out a Caucasian woman's tooth despite yelling “I hate white people.”
In a written ruling he said that Tamara Crowchief motivation for striking Lydia White (yes, her actual last name, go figure) was not race-related.
White was outside a pub with a friend when an acquaintance of Crowchief asked for a cigarette. White and her friend were speaking to the woman when Crowchief came out of nowhere, yelled “I hate white people” before punching her in the face.
Crown prosecutor Karuna Ramakrishnan was in search of a sentence of 12 to 15 months and argued that the incident was a hate crime. However, defence counsel Adriano Iovinelli made a case for their being insignificant evidence that Lydia White was attacked because of her skin colour.
According to National Post, Judge Harry Van Harten said that unlike other hate-crime related cases, there was no suggestion Crowchief was associated with any group that promoted hatred.
“There is no evidence either way about what the offender meant or whether . . . she holds or promotes an ideology which would explain why this assault was aimed at this victim. I am not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that this offence was, even in part, motivated by racial bias.”
Judge Van Harten agreed with the defense that the more than six months Crowchief had spent behind bars, which he equated to a 9 1/2-month sentence, was sufficient jail time. She was placed on 12 months probation and ordered her to get psychological and psychiatric counselling.
SOUND OFF in the comments: if a Muslim woman was punched, do you think the result would have been different?