Posted on June 9, 2005

Youth in B.C. Racist Attack Hoax Won’t Be Charged, RCMP

Canadian Press, June 8

RICHMOND, B.C. — No charges will be laid against a Sikh teenager who claimed that a group of white men had ripped off his turban and cut off his hair, the RCMP said Wednesday.

The 17-year-old Indo-Canadian told police he was jumped by five Caucasian men in broad daylight on the grounds of an elementary school in this Vancouver suburb on May 26.

The youth later admitted he made up the story, injured himself and cut off his own hair. Sikhs do not cut their hair.

“This incident is not as much about criminality as it is culture, compassion, and the emotions of a young person,” the RCMP said in a statement. “This is a time that calls for calm understanding and not a time to be thinking about criminal charges.”

Police said the youth has agreed to participate in the restorative justice program, but they did not give details of what that means in his case.

“The RCMP has been working very closely with the Sikh community to do the right thing and we know that the Sikh community and its leadership are also interested in compassion and understanding,” the police statement said.

“The RCMP and our partners do not believe it is in the best interest of this young person or society in general to have this incident carry forth through criminal charges.”

A similar claim by a youth in Surrey, B.C., several years ago also turned out to be a hoax.