A Vancouver couple has received a 12-month probation sentence after their involvement in an anti-Asian attack.
According to CBC News Astrid Maria Secreve, 76, and 74-year-old Michel Jean-Jacque Berthiaume were involved in an anti-Asian attack at Rocanini Coffee Roasters in Steveston, Canada, in March 2021. The pair were charged for throwing coffee and yelling racist insults at the coffee shop’s manager Nikki Tan.
Global News reports that the pair had seated themselves in an area of the shop that was closed-off because of COVID-19 restricts. When Tan asked the couple to leave, they hurled anti-Asian insults at her.
Orignially the couple, pleaded not guilty to charges of mischief but decided to plead guilty in October. Richmond Provincial Court Judge Diana Vandor ruled that their actions were not a hate crime, Richmond News reports. She cited the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which says, “Canadians have the freedom to hate and feel bias or prejudice against others without fear of criminalization.”
According to Richmond News, Vandor, however, felt that they went too far when they threw coffee on the floor. She felt that the action was partially motivated by bias or hate. She sentenced the couple to one-year of probation, which will also give them a criminal record.
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