Woman praised Hamas terror attack during speech at Vancouver Art Gallery, police say

The VPD's Major Crime Section launched the investigation on April 26 after a video was posted online showing a woman at the Vancouver Art Gallery speaking to hundreds of protesters.

Woman praised Hamas terror attack during speech at Vancouver Art Gallery, police say
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A 44-year-old woman was arrested following a hate crime investigation over a speech in Vancouver that praised the terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel, police say.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) released a statement on Wednesday stating that the woman "referred to a number of terrorist organizations as heroes."

“We defend everyone’s right to gather and express their opinions, even when those opinions are unpopular or controversial,” says Sergeant Steve Addison. “We also have a responsibility to ensure public comments don’t promote or incite hatred, encourage violence, or make people feel unsafe. We will continue to thoroughly investigate every hate incident and will pursue criminal charges whenever there is evidence of a hate crime.”

The VPD's Major Crime Section launched the investigation on April 26 after a video was posted online showing a woman at the Vancouver Art Gallery speaking to hundreds of protesters.

The suspect has now been released from custody pending further investigation.

The speech drew condemnation from BC Premier David Eby, who called the praising of an attack that killed 1,200 people "the most hateful" thing he could imagine.

"Celebrating the murder, the rape of innocent people attending a music festival, it's awful. It's reprehensible and shouldn't take place in British Columbia. There is clearly an element of some individuals using an international tragedy to promote hate that's completely unacceptable."

BC Attorney General Niki Sharma took a softer tone in her response, saying that every incident of hate "is a stark reminder of the work that still lies ahead of us as we try to build a more understanding and inclusive province."

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