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Violence by Eritreans in ; Calgary: end of investigation, new charges laid

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Calgary police reported 11 people injured as well as significant material damage during violent intra-community clashes that occurred on September 2, 2023 in the metropolis.

  • Bassirou Bâ (View profile)Bassirou Bâ

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The investigation into the intracommunity violence that occurred on September 2, 2023 in the Falconridge neighborhood, in northeast Calgary, has been completed. Police said Wednesday that 28 people are now facing 63 charges.

The investigation aimed to identify those responsible for the violence occurrences between members of the Eritrean community.

Charges were laid as the investigation progressed. Eleven men aged 24 to 49 received the first charges in early November. Then the number of people charged increased to 21 by the end of the same month.

Six people were added to this list after new charges were filed. was worn on December 21. The latest charge against a 50-year-old man was announced in a police statement on Wednesday.

The charges against the alleged perpetrators include participating in a riot and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

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Some of them will have their first court appearance on February 14.

Police have indicated that additional charges could arise if any new information arises.

For four and a half months, our members worked tirelessly to identify those involved in one of the most significant violent incidents [in the history] of Calgary, said Mark Neufeld, head of the Calgary Police Service.

He adds that the investigators did not lose sight of their objective, which was to ensure that those involved were held accountable for their actions.

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Our department and community will not tolerate incidents such as this, which result in senseless violence and property damage.

A quote from Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld

Similar incidents have occurred in other places in Canada. To date, we are the only police force in the country to have laid charges against those who participated, he continued.

These incidents involving members of the Eritrean diaspora would have been motivated by the conflicting political climate which prevails in their country of origin and which has had violent resonances in several Canadian cities, notably in Edmonton (New window) and Toronto.

The clashes that occurred in Calgary were the cause of significant material damage suffered in particular by merchants and owners of vehicles parked nearby.

Police estimated that up to 150 people took part in these acts of intra-community violence.

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