Hate-crime probe begins

York Region force to investigate whether attacks on fishermen were racially motivated

Sep 28, 2007 04:30 AM
Paola Loriggio
Staff Reporter

York Region police have launched hate-crime investigations into four incidents of "nippertipping," acts of violence or mischief targeting mostly Asian-Canadians.
The decision marks an about-face for the force, which previously denied the assaults were racially motivated.
"We are actively investigating the incident," said Staff Sgt. Ricky Veerappan, of the department's diversity and cultural resources bureau, referring to a Sept. 16 incident that left Toronto resident Shayne Berwick, 23, in a coma.
Berwick had been fishing with a group of friends that included Asian-Canadians.
Three other cases, dating back to the spring, are now also under investigation as hate crimes, Veerappan said. All took place in the Lake Simcoe area.
"As we obtain information, if it seems racially motivated, the appropriate charges will be laid," Veerappan said.
Two men have been charged with assault in relation to two of the incidents.
The investigation was announced at a news conference organized by community groups pushing for government and police action against the "nippertipping" trend described in the Star this week.
Some residents of the nearby town of Sutton say the practice began decades ago.
"Nippertipping," a term coined from a derogatory word for the Japanese and the rural prank known as cow tipping, consists of sneaking up behind fishermen and shoving them in the lake.
"We look at news reports and say, `What? Today?' This is Toronto," said Susan Eng, of The Reference Group, a community group focused on equal access to the political process.
Zanana Akande, former president of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, said the incidents affect all communities.
"`Nipper' is not far from `******,'" Akande said.
Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, pledged to support the investigation.
"To have a group experience this kind of racism and hate is shocking and needs action," Hall said.
Police and community members say many similar incidents go unreported.
When radio show host Simon Li brought up "nippertipping" on Tuesday's edition of Power Politics, his nightly Chinese-language call-in show, he was shocked by the response. More than 10 people shared stories of harassment and assault, Li said.
One caller, a Chinese-Canadian man, said he was recently held at gunpoint while fishing in the Lake Simcoe area.
Part of the problem is the Criminal Code's narrow definition of a hate crime, said Karen Mock, who chaired the hate crimes community working group, a government advisory team.
By law, hate-crime charges can only be laid when someone advocates genocide or disseminates hate propaganda, she said.
In a report published last December, the group urged the federal government to recognize "hate incidents," non-criminal offences motivated by bias or bigotry, such as harassment.
"These hate incidents should also be investigated," Mock said.

The Toronto Star


Here's a news flash...it ain't all about race!!!

The locals are fed up with the garbage, the destruction of private property and the keeping of every single fish caught...no matter the season nor the size.

These people are seen as a blight and also seen as a cause of the stock depleations.

Sutton shares this issue with such towns as Westport, just north of Kingston, where they have people from the Asian community fishing illegally in a fish sanctuary. When confronted, much like in Sutton, they play the "No habla englais" game.

The MNR and the OPP have dropped the ball...small town justice is just ugly and swift. Notice it says "mostly Asians". The locals have targetted anyone they see fishing inappropriately. There is just alot more Asians raping the rivers then other non visible minorities.