An Alberta judge decided that an indigenous woman from Calgary, Canada, who knocked out a white woman’s tooth after screaming “I hate white people,” didn’t commit a racially-motivated hate crime.
In November of last year, Tamara Crowchief assaulted Lydia White, a white female who was standing outside of Jameson’s Irish Pub on 17 Ave. S.W., with a friend. Crowchief approached White and yelled out that she hated white people before punching White so hard that her tooth fell out.
Shortly after the incident, Crowchief simply walked away, but White and a friend followed her while calling the police. Authorities arrived and arrested Crowchief for assault, and she continued to show her disdain by screaming that “the white man was out to get her.”
Yet, Provincial court judge Van Harten indicated that despite what Crowchief said, he didn’t see any evidence that the attack was a hate crime.
“There is no evidence either way about what the offender meant or whether … she holds or promotes an ideology which would explain why this assault was aimed at this victim…..I am not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that this offence was, even in part, motivated by racial bias.”
Prosecutor Karuna Ramakrishnan asked for at least a 12- to 15-month jail sentence for Crowchief and contended that the assault was indeed a hate crime. The judge, however, not only decided that the crime wasn’t racially motivated, but he also ruled that the six months Crowchief already spent behind bars was sufficient enough jail time for the crime.
Although she’s no longer in jail, Crowchief is now on 12 months of probation. She was ordered to undergo psychiatric counseling and substance abuse counseling, and banned from entering any establishment that sells alcohol. She’s also restricted from partaking in any drug or alcohol activity.
Numerous people took to social media to express their disappointment in regard to such a light sentence for Crowchief, especially since this isn’t the first time she’s been arrested for assault.
"Tamara Crowchief’s motivation for punching Lydia White was not related to racial bias." So it was her last name that was the problem?
— Approach Infinity (@JintoLint) July 6, 2016
In 2013, Crowchief assaulted Tania Gaulin, a primary witness in a first-degree murder case against Sheldon Worme. The incident happened at a McDonald’s restaurant in downtown Calgary. Crowchief walked up to Gaulin, punched her in the face, and called her a “rat.”
Gaulin testified that Worme, her former boyfriend, asked her to help him dispose clothes and other items used in the 2008 killing of 29-year-old Daniel Levesque, who was beaten to death after he was robbed in his own home.
She also testified that she went to Levesque’s home the night he was killed, accompanied by Worme and two other defendants in the case, Aaron Stevens and Derek Campeau. She stated that a teen came along with them, but she left before the killing occurred, after Worme ordered her out of the home.
Worme walked out of the home shortly after Gautlin testified. She said he’d been stabbed by Campeau after an argument broke out. Gaulin ran away after spotting him. Worme was eventually found guilty of first-degree murder but was recently granted a new trial.
Guilty verdict for Sheldon Worme – CTV News http://t.co/8Bl9NPmg
— Sanni Ozaveshe Alex (@beatbylex) October 7, 2012
It’s unclear how Crowchief was connected to the Worme case, but in a 2013 Facebook post, she revealed she broke her fist, apparently in a fight. She didn’t specify if she was talking about her altercation with Gaulin.
“yeah almost that time im out..broke my wrist lastnight ahh it sucks but you should see the other person lol payce”
Meanwhile, White still doesn’t understand why Tamara Crowchief, a complete stranger, walked up to her and punched her in the mouth. In her victim impact statement, she wrote the following.
“I don’t understand why this woman did this. I never did anything to her. Never even spoke to her.”
[Photo by Shutterstock]