'Calgary, we are better than this': Councillor responds to video of racist rant at liquor store
CALGARY -- The Calgary Police Service hate crimes unit is investigating a disturbing video circulating online that shows a man unleashing a racist tirade inside a northwest liquor store that was allegedly prompted by a request to wear a mask.
In the video that was widely shared on social media Saturday, a man asks the employee recording him where she was born, then hurls racial insults and other obscenities at her.
“There’s no need for you to spread your vile, racist anger at other people,” Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Monday.
The incident also prompted Ward 3 Coun. Jyoti Gondek to visit the store and meet the sisters who operate the shop. They told her things escalated when the man was asked to wear a mask in accordance with the city’s mandatory mask bylaw.
Gondek took to social media to address the man in the video.
"Do us all a favour and don’t spew your nonsense racist garbage at people who are doing you a favour by keeping their doors open," said Gondek. "Please, do us all a favour and stay home if you don’t want to wear a mask and you’re a horrible racist person."
The incident wasn't the first time the liquor store operators have been verbally attacked in their store.
"This has happened to them before and this will probably happen to them again. That is awful," said Gondek. "Calgary we are better than this, please be better than this. Support local. Do well and let’s get through this pandemic together without the ugliness."
The liquor store encounter is not the first confrontation in a Calgary business involving the mandatory mask bylaw.
Masks have been mandatory in Calgary since Aug. 1 and city council voted last Monday to extend the bylaw until at least December.
“If you are opposed to the mask bylaw, if you think COVID is a hoax, write a letter to the premier, write an angry letter to the mayor — I’m happy to take it. But don’t take it out on people who are just trying to do their jobs,” Nenshi said.
Calgary Police Service officials confirm to CTV News that the liquor store incident is being investigated by members of the hate crime unit.