WATCH: Police said a group of officers were shot at from inside a Callingwood-area home, when they came to arrest a suspect for criminal harassment. Const. Daniel Woodall, 35, of the hate crimes unit, was killed.
The man suspected of killing Edmonton Police Service Const. Daniel Woodall was the subject of an investigation by the force’s Hate Crimes Unit.
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Woodall, 35, was fatally shot while trying to arrest 42-year-old Norman Raddatz at a home in the West Edmonton neighbourhood of Callingwood Monday night.
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Edmonton police chief Rod Knecht said Tuesday morning that Raddatz had been the focus of an investigation that dates back to February 2014.
“The online hatred and bullying of an Edmonton family had already become extreme and the family members were increasingly worried about their personal safety, at which time the Edmonton police service became involved.”
Knecht did not go into further details about how or why Raddatz was allegedly cyberbullying the family.
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The Edmonton Police Service Hate and Bias Crime Unit was established in 2003 to advocate for “human rights, safety, security and inclusiveness for all identifiable communities in Edmonton.”
EPS describes hate and bias crime as “an offence committed against a person or property, which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the suspect’s hate, bias or prejudice towards an identifiable group based on, real or perceived, race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or any other similar factor.”
The Hate Crime Unit works with liaison committees for the LGBTQ, Indo-Canadian, Jewish and African communities, among others, as well as puts out brochures in multiple languages — French, Chinese, Somali, Punjabi, Persian and Urdu.
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Hate crimes in Edmonton last year were at their lowest level in six years, with just 32 hate crimes on record, the Edmonton Journal reported in March — in an article that featured an interview with Woodall.
In the EPS statistics provided to the Edmonton Journal, 15 of the recorded hate crimes were related to race or ethnicity, 10 involved religion and seven were related to sexual orientation.
The number of hate crimes across Canada have also dropped in recent years, according to the latest report from Statistics Canada.
Police departments reported 1,167 hate crimes in 2013, a 17 per cent drop from the year before, the agency reported Tuesday.
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The Hate Crime Unit breaks down the difference between hate crimes and hate incidents — incidents motivated by hatred or bias but not “criminal in nature.”
According to the unit, a hate crime can be any of the following.
Violence or threats of violenceActs of mischief of vandalismDistribution of hate literature or hate mailThreatening phone callsDestruction of religious property or symbols
The unit describes a hate incident as:
Intimidation against identifiable groups or individualsDistribution of prejudicial mateiralUse of racial slurs against individuals
EPS points out it’s still important to report hate incidents to authorities, saying the “impact on the individual or community is similar” to that of a hate crime — even if the acts aren’t classified as a hate crime.