Kingston Police police say a potential hate crime has been perpetrated against the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre at 144-146 Barrie St on Queen’s University campus. Between Monday, Jun. 29 and Tuesday, Jun. 30, police say five flags hanging on the property were purposely cut in an act of vandalism. Kingston Police released images of the flags today, hoping to spur further public interest and attention.
Crime Prevention Sergeant Steve Koopman said police decided to release the photos after consultation with and input from Four Directions, Queen’s University, and Campus Security and Emergency Services.
“We wanted the Kingston population to know there is little to no doubt this mischief was deliberately conducted and a symbolic affront to the Indigenous nations and LGBTQ2S+ communities whose flags were desecrated,” Koopman said.
“We hope this will appeal to the conscience of some people and spur them to come forward or provide information,” he added.
Detective Adam Slate, also on the case, provided the following comment: “We are appealing to the public that if anyone has information regarding this incident, no matter how small, to please reach out to us or even leave an anonymous tip.”
“This occurred on Barrie Street directly across from City Park and its sports field, and is often used by many and varied members of the Kingston community,” Slate said. “If you have any knowledge and want to assist us in solving what we believe to be a crime based on racism and hate towards sexual orientation and gender identity then please don’t hesitate to contact us.”
According to Kingston Police, Four Directions recently replaced the flags and conducted a ceremony where they were hung inside the centre, with more permanent plans to securely install them on top of buildings. While individuals have shown an interest in donating towards the cost of replacing the flags, staff are directing people to instead donate to the Emergency Bursary Fund for Indigenous Students and the Chancellor Jim Leech Bursary for Indigenous Students.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Adam Slate at [email protected] or 613-549-4660 ext. 6366. Tips can also be provided anonymously by calling the Kingston Police general number at 613-549-4660 ext. 0 and asking to remain anonymous. Please refer to occurrence number 20-91627 when doing so.