Vancouver police say that while the actions of a man who urinated on the Komagata Maru Memorial may be offensive and disrespectful, they weren’t criminal.
Police say no charges will be laid against the man who was photographed urinating on the memorial that marks a dark chapter in the treatment of hundreds of Sikhs who arrived by boat in Vancouver’s harbour 100 years ago.
The police department’s Hate Crime Unit was assigned the investigation on Dec 3 when police were informed that a picture of the man urinating on the memorial was making the rounds on the internet.
Constable Brian Montague says police identified and interviewed the suspect and an extensive investigation of the incident was completed.
He says urinating in a public place isn’t always a criminal offence in Canada, unless an incident meets the standards set out in the Criminal Code, and that wasn’t the case here.
When the charter ship arrived in Vancouver in May 1914, immigration officials refused to allow the 376 passengers off and when the ship returned to India a riot broke out and 19 passengers were killed by police.