Eleven individuals have been charged in connection with a hate-motivated mischief incident at a Yorkville Indigo store, as confirmed by Toronto Police Service (TPS).
The investigation stems from an early morning call on Nov. 10 reporting mischief at the Bay and Bloor streets location. The suspects allegedly glued posters featuring the image of the Jewish CEO, Heather Reisman, with the words “Funding Genocide,” onto the store’s doors and windows.
Red paint was poured on windows and sidewalks. Initially, a 41-year-old Toronto resident, was arrested and charged with mischief over $5,000.
Subsequently, 10 more individuals from Toronto face charges of mischief over $5,000 and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. They are set to appear in court in January.
TPS stated that the ongoing investigation is being treated as a suspected “hate-motivated” offence.
Indigo has faced boycott campaigns for years due to its founder’s HESEG Foundation for Lone Soldiers.
Search warrants have been executed and numerous arrests made in an investigation into “hate-motivated mischief” at a Toronto Indigo store earlier this month, police say. https://t.co/ykW5vNxu6F
— Ryan Rocca (@ryan_rocca) November 23, 2023
Demonstrators assembled outside 52 Division on Nov. 22 urging law enforcement to dismiss the charges contesting the assertion that the purported actions were driven by hatred.
Toronto Police Chief Myron Demkiw highlighted a spike in antisemitic and Islamophobic or anti-Palestinian hate crimes since the onset of the Israel-Gaza war on Oct. 7, describing the increase as “staggering.”
According to TPS, there have been 63 hate graffiti occurrences that were anti-Muslim / anti-Palestinian / anti-Arab. There were 2 reported during the same period last year. There have been 217 hate graffiti occurrences that were anti-Semitic since October 7. Last year, there were 19 reported during the same time period.
“Geopolitical unrest in the Middle East has generated unprecedented tensions in our city,” Demkiw told the board, delivering the latest in a series of updates on the state of hate crime reports in the city since the Oct. 7 attack. “I personally have seen and felt the fear experienced in our communities firsthand,” he said.
Demkiw emphasized the allocation of a substantial number of resources to tackle the overall increase in hate crimes across all categories.