“Mentally ill” man says sorry for peeing on Komagata Maru monument
The man photographed urinating on the Komagata Maru monument in Vancouver has apologized.
“I am sorry for what I did that day at the monument. I didn’t want to hurt anyone,” the unidentified man said in a written apology made public by the Vancouver Police Department.
Chief Constable Jim Chu insisted today (January 16) that police treated the "abhorrent act" as a "serious matter".
"Based on the interview results, we confirmed that our only option in the justice system was a bylaw ticket for urinating in public," Chu said in a statement.
"Yesterday afternoon, we located the suspect and he agreed to apologize for his actions."
According to Chu, the man appears to have a "serious mental disorder".
"He is an illicit drug user and would fit into the category studied recently in the Downtown Eastside of a severely addicted mentally ill person," Chu said.
"This suspect needs the health system, not the justice system.
"We believe that it is not in anyone’s interest to serve this suspect a bylaw ticket. We explained this to several South Asian community leaders last night and they supported this decision."
The monument in Harbour Green Park was installed in 2012 to commemorate the Komagata Maru incident. In the 1914 incident, 300 ship passengers of South Asian descent were denied entry to Canada due to a racist federal law.