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Richmond city councillor calls out shaming of people allegedly involved in racist coffee shop incident

A flyer, shaming a couple accused of assault at a Steveston business last week, was posted in a Richmond complex's elevator. The flyer was later removed.
respect privacy
Although actions should be taken to ensure racism has no place in Richmond, it's important to respect other people's privacy, according to Richmond city councillor Chak Au.

Richmond city councillor Chak Au is asking for the public’s help to stop the spread of personal information regarding a couple who was involved in an alleged assault at a Steveston business last week.

Although actions should be taken to ensure racism has no place in Richmond, it’s also important to respect other people's privacy, even if they are suspected of "committing" a crime, according to Au. 

RCMP officers responded to a business located in the 3900 block of Moncton Street last Monday after staff reported an assault and racial slurs. The victim claims that one of the customers yelled racial slurs and tossed the leftover coffee and coffee cup at her face. 

The victim later posted a video of the incident on social media, which sparked outrage among the local community. 

Steveston-Richmond East MP Kenny Chiu recently received a report about a flyer disclosing the suspect’s home address, posted in a Richmond complex's elevator. The flyer was later removed. 

It read, "I came across this posting of a female throwing a drink in an Asian barista's face for being asked to move out of a COVID restricted seating area. It’s unfortunate to say but this (suspect) LIVES HERE…” The flyer then notes the suspect's unit number and adds, “This is unacceptable behaviour and I would rather not live in the same building as someone like this.” 

This kind of shaming is out of line, according to Au.

"We don't have any responsibility or rights to identify people and reveal their information to the public," he said. 

However, Au also noted that the poster illustrates the community's eroding trust in law enforcement regarding hate crimes. 

"Some people might feel law enforcement isn't powerful enough, so they have to seek fairness and justice through other ways. However, if you take laws into your own hands, you will further split up the community and exacerbate social conflicts - this is something all of us don’t want to see," said Au. 

Richmond RCMP said they can't comment further since this case is still under investigation.