Police have launched an investigation after a Coquitlam liquor store posted a Ku Klux Klan-inspired photo on its website.
The now-closed Coquitlam Liquor, Tobacco and Food Delivery had a photo of what looked like a lynching in progress, with a beer bottle hanging from above, surrounded by Coors Light cans dressed in white hoods reminiscent of the KKK.
The business, which is now unreachable, appeared to respond to negative Google reviews with “Ita (sic) only a photo of beer bottles so it’s not #racist.”
When the photo was shared on Facebook, people were outraged and called for a boycott, calling the staff “scum” and “creepy.”
Speaking at news conference Wednesday, Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said the post was reported to Mounties the day before.
“The Coquitlam RCMP did receive a complaint about an objectionable post on Facebook,” McLaughlin said. “The post was said by the complainant to be racist.”
McLaughlin cautioned the public that even thought posts are crass, it may not meet the definition of a hate crime.
Under Canada’s Criminal Code, a hate crime must “incite hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace” or “wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group” in a public setting.
There have been no arrests or charges reported as of Wednesday afternoon.