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Racist social media posts lead to arrests in Flin Flon area

CTV News with Lori Wilkinson 31 July 2018

A Flin Flon, Man. woman and another from a Saskatchewan community nearby have been arrested after posting racist and violent remarks online about Indigenous people.

“The messaging plain and simple is wrong, it’s hurtful,” said RCMP Sgt. Paul Manaigre.

RCMP said after vehicles and property in Flin Flon were vandalized, a woman, who according to her online comments was the owner of one of the cars, began venting on Facebook about people she believed were responsible.

According to a post, she was calling for “rez muts” to “stay on the rez.”

Another woman responded, sparking this conversation between the two:

“Ugh. I think it’s time to have a 24 hour purge.”

“No it’s time to keep the animals locked up or have a shoot an indian day.”

“ya girl purge!”

Mounties say a 32-year-old woman from Flin Flon and a 25-year-old woman from Denare Beach, Sask. have been arrested for uttering threats and public incitement of hatred. A third arrest is pending for the same charges.

“It was deemed inexcusable, so the RCMP conducted an investigation and we feel charges are warranted,” said Manaigre.

Reaction online was swift in condemning the remarks. Flin Flon resident Thomas McDermott put an hour long video online which has gone viral, calling for an end to this type of behavior.

“This division has to stop it just has to stop there’s no need for that,” said an emotional McDermott.

University of Manitoba sociologist Lori Wilkinson says the posts aren’t surprising.

“Not shocked by this because we see it all the time in private conversations,” said Wilkinson.

But she says more of those private conversations are becoming public.

“People feel more emboldened to talk about and share their racist feelings because of the actions of some of our leaders both in Canada and outside of Canada,” said Wilkinson.