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‘Insufficient evidence’ of alleged threats to drag story time event in Nelson: police

The library had been forced to scrap a planned event in March
The Nelson Police Department has determined that no charges will be laid after Nelson Public Library staff reported threats connected with its drag story time event on March 11. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

A Nelson Police Department investigation has concluded there is “insufficient evidence” to support an allegation of “suspected hate-motivated incidents” against Nelson Public Library staff leading up to the library’s drag story time event on March 11.

Library staff said at the time that they were forced to scrap the event, to be held at the library, after having received threats, which they reported to the police. An impromptu version of the event was held the same day in front of City Hall, drawing a large crowd.

“After a thorough examination of the available evidence, the investigation revealed that there was insufficient evidence to support elements of an offence(s),” deputy chief of police Raj Saini wrote in an email to the Nelson Star.

Saini said the department investigated the incident under Criminal Code section 319 (promoting or inciting hatred) and under section 264 (uttering threats).

The library, in conjunction with the Capitol Theatre, Kootenay Pride, the Nelson and District Arts Council, the Nelson Museum Archives and Gallery, Kootenay Kids, and ANKORS, sponsored another drag story time event at the Nelson United Church on May 3, without incident.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated the Nelson police found there was no evidence of threats made to library staff. In fact the police said there was “insufficient evidence.”

READ MORE: Nelson police investigating ‘suspected hate-motivated’ incidents following drag story time backlash

Bill Metcalfe

About the Author: Bill Metcalfe

I have lived in Nelson since 1994 and worked as a reporter at the Nelson Star since 2015.
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