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Mar 15, 2022 06:08 PM EDT

Violent Hate Crimes Against the Homeless Are Spiking

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Violent Hate Crimes Against the Homeless Are Spiking

(Photo : Maxim Hopman via Unsplash)

People all over the world are frustrated with two years of pandemic-related lockdowns. General frustration has also come from entrails of the pandemic that have nothing to do with sickness. North America is now plagued with inflation, political polarization, jobs that can't be filled, high inflation, open borders, and what most alarming, skyrocketing violent crime. 

One Florida-based law firm states that innocent men and women are attacked on a daily basis in violent assaults. The assaults can happen in a shopping center parking lot, a college campus, a bar, or even on someone's personal property. Some of these attacks involve a knife which will inevitably lead an innocent stabbing victim to pose the question, can I sue someone for stabbing me

The answer is not only yes, but it might also be your right to sue the property owner where the attack took place. Because after all, it's an establishment owner's responsibility to maintain the proper security protocols in and around their business, such as adequate lighting, security personnel, alarms, and more.

But what about violent attacks on defenseless people like the homeless? What is motivating the beatings and stabbings of the people who find themselves living on the streets? According to a new report out of Calgary, a recent rash of stabbings targeted against the homeless were said to be "hate-motivated attacks."  

Investigators have concluded that the victims were chosen due to their dire "socio-economic status." The acting sergeant in charge of the case actually went so far as to say that his team of investigators were 100 percent certain a hate-crime had occurred based on all the physical and circumstantial evidence gathered. 

The sergeant went on to say that it's the first time he's seen such a violent and coordinated hate-crime attack perpetrated against the very vulnerable homeless population.  

The Attack

Say police spokespersons, at least three separate innocent victims were sprayed with fire extinguishers just second prior to being stabbed in the back and the abdomen. Each attack occurred within eight minutes of one another in the early morning of December 21, 2021, suggesting a coordinated and premediated assault.   

One of the victims was said to have been asleep inside a bus shelter when the attack occurred. According to reports, all three victims were transported to a nearby hospital in critical but stable condition. 

Police said that high-quality CCTV images recorded by transit security cameras led investigators to the perpetrators home neighborhood where two men were immediately apprehended and arrested in direct connection with the attacks and the stabbings. 

Clothing that matched the description of the perpetrators, plus flex cuffs, brass knuckles, bear spray, 7mm ammo, a sawed-off .22 caliber rifle, plus dozens of knives were also apprehended as physical evidence. 

21 year old Asher Atter will face nine charges, two of which are assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault. 

29 years old Jaymes Richardson is charged with 12 offences. This includes the assault with a deadly weapons charge along with aggravated assault. 

Do Hate Crimes Against the Homeless go Under-reported?

Because of their general frailty, emotional if not mentally challenged states, their addiction to alcohol and/or illicit drugs like opiates, and their lack of shelter and protection, homeless people are said to be highly susceptible to violent crimes like stabbings and assault. 

A report from the National Coalition for the Homeless states that the homeless face a risk of being victimized up to 81 percent more than any other subgroup in both the U.S. and Canada.  

But some experts claim that violence and hate crimes against the homeless are all too often underreported. With this in mind, the police in Calgary are establishing a program where they make direct contact with the homeless to educate them on "initiatives" surrounding these hate crimes. 

What's needed, experts say, is for people to build a trust with the homeless and more vulnerable populations. The police are convinced the brutal stabbing attacks that occurred in December of 2021 is a first step in the general public recognizing that something must be done about the violence and the hate. 

In the end, the police are said to "have the backs" of the homeless while the mayor of the big city has made a commitment to doing more for the most vulnerable populations. Succeeding in this endeavor will, however, be an uphill battle considering most employed people see the homeless as a nuisance at best and a tragedy at worst.  

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