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Suspect in UBC Pride flag burning may be charged with mischief

RCMP say they’ve recommended a charge in alleged incident at UBC OUTweek

The RCMP confirm that a suspect has been arrested and may be charged in connection with an alleged Pride flag burning discovered at the University of British Columbia (UBC) on Feb 9, 2016.

The rainbow flag had been raised four days earlier as part of the opening ceremony for UBC’s OUTweek 2016.

“An arrest has been made and charges have been forwarded to Crown counsel — but have not been approved yet — for one count of mischief,” says Sergeant Drew Grainger, of the RCMP’s UBC detachment.

Grainger says he can’t identify the suspect or discuss any possible motive until a charge has been approved.

“The suspect information was developed as a result of our ongoing investigation,” he says.

A spokesperson for BC’s Ministry of Justice tells Daily Xtra that prosecutors have yet to receive the file with the RCMP’s charge recommendation, and likely won’t comment until a decision is made.

“This is a suspected hate crime of intentional destruction to a very publicly important symbol for the LGBTQ+ community,” the UBC Pride Collective alleged in a February statement.

The Pride Collective did not respond to Daily Xtra’s requests for comment by posting time.

Both UBC’s associate vice-president of equity and inclusion, and its Alma Mater Society (UBC’s student government), denounced the flag burning in February.

“We condemn this incident as an act of hate,” vice-president Sara-Jane Finlay told Daily Xtra.